Results in a previous report established the presence of dominant genetic factor(s) in C3H/BiDa mice which contributed to the unusually high susceptibility of this strain to polyoma virus-induced tumors (Freund et al. (1992) Virology 191, 724-731). Here we show that C57BR/cdJ mice, while identical to C3H/BiDa at the H-2 locus, are almost completely lacking in susceptibility. Analysis of crosses between these two H-2k strains has shown that susceptibility is due to a single dominant autosomal gene, designated PyvS. On an H-2k background, PyvS acts in a highly penetrant manner to confer susceptibility to induction of a broad range of tumors by the virus. Analysis of F1 mice between C3H/BiDa and the highly resistant C57BL/6 (H-2b) strain shows that PyvS can partially overcome the immunologically mediated resistance associated with an H-2b haplotype. PyvS does not encode cell receptors for the virus, nor does it affect levels of virus replication or anti-viral humoral responses in the host. Studies with early passage embryo fibroblasts in culture show that PyvS does not affect intracellular events essential for either productive infection or cell transformation by the virus. PyvS thus determines a generalized susceptibility of the host to polyoma-induced tumors but apparently does not act at the level of target cells for tumor induction.
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