The species host range of the recombinant, mink cell focus-inducing (MCF) class of murine retroviruses was determined in vitro and compared to the host range properties of xenotropic and amphotropic murine viruses. In contrast to xenotropic and amphotropic viruses, MCF viruses were restricted in the number of mammalian species they would infect. Cell lines from mouse, rat, mink, ferret, and cat were susceptible to MCF infection and certain virus isolates could infect rabbit cells, but cells from Chinese hamster, buffalo, bat, dog, monkey, and human were resistant to infection by most MCF viruses. The resistance of some of the latter cells was abrogated by phenotypic mixing with xenotropic virus, which demonstrated that MCF species host range was mediated by virus envelope-cell surface interaction. The host range uniformity of the various MCF isolates and the unique species distribution of sensitivity are consistent with the conclusion from other evidence that the MCF viruses comprise a class distinct from xenotropic and amphotropic viruses.
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