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Journal of Virology


The AKXL-5 recombinant inbred mouse strain is positive for the endogenous ecotropic murine leukemia virus emv-14, the only emv present in its germ line. emv-14 is of particular interest because spleen cells expressing emv-14 virus escape recognition by anti-AKR/Gross virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. We report here the isolation and characterization of a replication-competent emv clone, pAK7, derived from an AKXL-5 mouse. This clone is novel in that it encodes a variant ecotropic murine leukemia virus that, when expressed in SC.Kb target cells, fails to be recognized efficiently by anti-AKR/Gross virus cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The pAK7 clone can therefore be used to further probe mechanisms of escape from cell-mediated immunity.