Résumé : Transformation of FR3T3 rat fibroblasts by a c-Ha-ras oncogene but not by bovine papillomavirus type 1 is associated with an increase in the abundance of mRNAs from prototype strain MVMp of infecting minute virus of mice, an oncosuppressive parvovirus. This differential parvovirus gene expression correlates with the reported sensitization of ras- but not bovine papillomavirus type 1-transformed cells to the killing effect of MVMp (N. Salomé, B. van Hille, N. Duponchel, G. Meneguzzi, F. Cuzin, J. Rommelaere, and J. Cornelis, Oncogene 5:123-130, 1990). Experiments were performed to determine at which level parvovirus expression is up-regulated in ras transformants. An MVMp "attenuation" sequence responsible for the premature arrest of RNA elongation was either placed or not placed in front of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene and brought under the control of MVMp early promoter P4. Although the MVMp attenuator reduced P4-driven chloramphenicol acetyltransferase expression, the extent of attenuation was similar in normal and ras-transformed cells. Moreover, the analysis of P4-directed viral RNAs in MVMp-infected cultures by RNase protection and nuclear run-on assays also revealed a transcription elongation block of a similar amplitude in both types of cells. In addition, the stabilities of the three major parvoviral mRNAs did not vary significantly between normal and ras-transformed cells. Hence, it is concluded that the ras-induced increase in the accumulation of parvoviral mRNAs is mainly controlled at the level of transcription. Consistently, the TATA motif of the P4 promoter proved to have a differential photoreactivity when tested by in vivo UV footprinting assays in ras-transformed versus normal cells.