Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thirty-five new families of endogenous retroviruses discovered

Date:
November 29, 2010
Source:
Basque Research
Summary:
Retroviruses are viruses made up of RNA genetic material. Endogenous retroviruses are those sequences derived from retroviral infections introduced into the germinal line cells that, being incorporated in the genome, are transmitted from generation to generation.

Retroviruses are viruses made up of RNA genetic material. Endogenous retroviruses (ERV) are those sequences derived from retroviral infections introduced into the germinal line cells that, being incorporated in the genome, are transmitted from generation to generation. According to a number of investigations, the expression of ERV can benefit the host if it is controlled; it can help, for example, in the protection of the embryo. However, given its pathogenic nature, ERV also tends to be linked to cancer, schizophrenia and autoimmune diseases.

In any case, our knowledge about ERV is still scant. They have been detected in all mammals and in many vertebrates, but genic research in this regard has only been carried out on primates and rodents. Biologist Mr Koldo García has made a step forward in the field on studying ERV in cows and horses. He undertook the first genomic analysis of ERVs of two species respectively belonging to families of ruminants and equidae. His PhD thesis, presented at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), is entitled Erretrobirus endogenoen detekzioa eta karakterizazioa behietan eta beste hainbat mamaliotan (Detection and characterisation of endogenous retroviruses in cattle and a number of other mammals).

BoERV1, the most abundant amongst cattle

Mr García made use of computer tools in order to detect ERV. Concretely, he used three methods: the first based on the BLAST algorithm, and the other two on LTR_STRUC and Retrotector© programmes. As a result, a total of 35 families of ERV (cows and horses), hitherto not appearing in the literature, were detected; in concrete, 24 possible families of ERV in cattle, 20 of which had not been described experimentally. Amongst the latter, Mr García highlighted the BoERV1 family, being the most abundant amongst those found. As shown in the thesis, it may be the case that this is a family of ERV specific to ruminants. With regard to horses, 15 possible families were detected, none of them described to date.

The researcher also studied how ERV proliferates in both species and concluded that re-infection is the most common method in both cases. In general, ERV proliferates in two main ways: by transposition (occurring in the germinal line cell itself) or by re-infection (the ERV exit their cells and infect another germinal line cell). The PhD thesis shows that re-infection is very common, as the same manner of proliferation is the most common in many other animals. In concrete, Mr García brought together data on humans, chimpanzees, mice, rats and dogs for his research, in order to compare them with that of cows and horses; and he thus showed that, excepting rats, all these animals use re-infection more than transposition.

Expression in cattle tissue

Mr García undertook a more in-depth investigation in the case of cattle, focusing also on the genes surrounding the ERV; in other words, within the genomic context. As shown in the thesis, many of the genes close to the ERV are linked to protecting themselves against viruses and with histones (proteins which participate in the compacting and regulation of DNA). According to the researcher, this could be due to the genes being active when the retroviruses are introduced, or to the fact that they have characteristics recognisable by them.

Apart from detecting ERVs, the thesis demonstrates their expression in bovine tissue for the first time. It involves, moreover, a controlled expression and, therefore, valuable for the protection of the host. As shown in the thesis, this expression occurs mainly in the endocrine glands and in embryos, and so could be linked to the protection of the embryo.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Basque Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Basque Research. "Thirty-five new families of endogenous retroviruses discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129111748.htm>.
Basque Research. (2010, November 29). Thirty-five new families of endogenous retroviruses discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129111748.htm
Basque Research. "Thirty-five new families of endogenous retroviruses discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129111748.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins