Friendly viruses the special relationship between endogenous retroviruses and their host

Varela, M., Spencer, T.E., Palmarini, M. and Arnaud, F. (2009) Friendly viruses the special relationship between endogenous retroviruses and their host. In: Witzany, G. (ed.) Natural Genetic Engineering and Natural Genome Editing. Series: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (1178). New York Academy of Sciences, pp. 157-172. ISBN 9781573317658 (doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05002.x)

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Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are present in the genome of all vertebrates and have coevolved with their hosts for millions of years. Some ERVs play a critical role in placental development, contribute to genome plasticity, and protect the host against infection of related pathogenic and exogenous retroviruses, thus some ERVs have been positively selected and maintained in the host genome. The sheep genome contains 27 endogenous retroviruses (enJSRVs) related to the pathogenic Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV), the causative agent of a transmissible lung cancer in sheep. enJSRVs are able to protect their host against JSRV infection by blocking different steps of the viral replication cycle. In addition, enJSRVs are absolutely required for sheep placental development. Thus, enJSRVs-JSRV provides a unique and interesting model to study the symbiotic relationship and interplay between host ERVs and evolution. This review will provide some examples of the biological functions of ERVs. In particular, the role of ERVs in reproductive biology and in protecting the host against pathogenic retrovirus infections will be emphasized using enJSRVs/JSRV and the sheep as a model

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Palmarini, Professor Massimo and Arnaud, Mr Frederick
Authors: Varela, M., Spencer, T.E., Palmarini, M., and Arnaud, F.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publisher:New York Academy of Sciences
Published Online:15 October 2009

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