Stanford University

Moloney Murine Leukemia Virus Fact Sheet

Retroviridae; subfamily oncovirinae type C, enveloped, icosahedral core, virions 100 nm in diameter, diploid, single stranded, linear RNA genome. Moloney Murine Leukemia Virus (MoMuLV or MMLV) integrates into the host genome and is present in infected cells as a DNA provirus. Cell division is required for infection. Virus is not lytic. Data suggests a pathogenic mechanism in which chronic productive retroviral infection allowed insertional mutagenesis leading to cell transformation and tumor formation. The nature of a transgene or other introduced genetic element may pose additional risk. The host range of recombinant MoMuLV vectors is dependent on the specificity of the viral envelope. The ecotropic env gene produces particles which infect only rodent cells. The amphotropic env gene allows infection of rodent and non-rodent cells, including human cells. VSV-G envelope allows infection in a wide range of mammalian and non-mammalian cells.

What are the hazards?


MoMuLV infects only actively dividing cells. In mice, the virus is transmitted in the blood from infected mother to offspring. Transmission may also occur via germline infection. In vivo transduction in humans appears to require direct injection with amphotropic or pseudotyped virus.

Laboratory Hazards

Contact with feces or urine from infected animals for 72 hours post infection. Contact with tissues and body fluids of infected animals. Direct injection. Insertional mutagenesis; integration and expression of oncogenes or potential oncogenes.

Laboratory hazards ppe
Exposure of mucus membrane (eyes, nose, mouth) Use of safety goggles or full face shields. Use of appropriate face mask
Injection Use of safety needles; NEVER re-cap needle or remove needle from syringe
Aerosol inhalation Use of appropriate respiratory protection
Direct contact with skin Gloves, lab coat, closed shoes

The above PPE are often required IN ADDITION to working in a certified Biosafety Cabinet.

Susceptibility to disinfectants: Susceptible to many disinfectants – 1% sodium hypochlorite, 2% glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, ethanol

Use in Lab: BSL-1 (ecotropic), BSL-2 (amphotropic, VSV-g pseudotyped, contain toxin or oncogene)

Use with Animals: ABSL-1 housing for ecotropic, ABSL-2 for amphotropic or pseudotyped vector


No recommended treatment.

Back to Top

Download full instructions here ->