The Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus (MMTV) long terminal repeat contains an open reading frame (orf) of 960 nucleotides encoding a 36 kDa polypeptide with a putative transmembrane domain and five N-glycosylation sites in the N-terminal part of the protein. Transgenic mice bearing either the complete or the 3' terminal half of the orf sequence of MMTV-GR under the control of the SV40 promoter were raised. As shown previously by FACS analysis transgenic mice which express the complete orf gene have a significant deletion of V beta 14 expressing T cells at 6 weeks of age. Here we show that no clonal deletion of V beta 14 bearing T cells takes place in transgenic mice that contain orf sequences from the fifth ATG to the termination codon. The pattern of tissues expressing the truncated transgene was studied by the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and was very similar to the one obtained in the V beta 14 deleting animals. These data suggest that the amino-terminal portion of the ORF protein (pORF) is required for a superantigen function, while our previous data indicated that determinants from the carboxy-terminus play an important role for TCR V beta specificity.