HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Phoenix rising: Scientists resuscitate a 5 million-year-old retrovirus

VILLEJUIF, France (Tues., Oct. 31, 2006) -- A team of scientists has reconstructed the DNA sequence of a 5-million-year-old retrovirus and shown that it is able to produce infectious particles. The retrovirus--named Phoenix--is the ancestor of a large family of mobile DNA elements, some of which may play a role in cancer. The study, which is the first to generate an infectious retrovirus from a mobile element in the human genome, is considered a breakthrough for the field of retrovirus research. The findings are reported in Genome Research.

"Phoenix became frozen in time after it integrated into the human genome about 5 million years ago," explains Dr. Thierry Heidmann, lead investigator on the project. "In our study, we've recovered this ancestral state and shown that it has the potential for infectivity."

Retroviruses, whose genomes consist of RNA, can create DNA "copies" of the RNA genomes and incorporate them into the genomes of their hosts. Phoenix belongs to a sub-category of retroviruses--known as HERVs (human endogenous retroviruses)--which inserted copies into the human germline millions of years ago. These copies were subsequently passed on from generation to generation. Remnants of HERVs now comprise nearly 8% of the human genome, but most were rendered inactive long ago by mutations.

Heidmann and his colleagues set out to re-activate one family of HERVs, called the HERV-K(HML2) family, an evolutionarily "young" family of retroviral elements. They aligned HERV-K(HML2) elements, determined their consensus sequence, and then constructed a retrovirus--Phoenix--from the consensus sequence by mutating existing HERV-K(HML2) copies.

In addition, the researchers showed that Phoenix could form particles capable of infecting mammalian cells in culture. Infectivity was very low, presumably because host cells have evolved mechanisms to resist uncontrolled virus propagation, as has been repeatedly ob
'"/>

Contact: Maria Smit
smit@cshl.edu
516-422-4127
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
30-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. 20th annual convention of US naturopathic physicians convenes Aug. 24, 2005 in Phoenix
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Scientists prove that disputed Korean stem cell line comes from an unfertilized egg and not cloning
4. Scientists move closer to bio-engineered bladders
5. Scientists find stem cell switch
6. Scientists discover new way to study nanostructures
7. Scientists a step closer to understanding how anaesthetics work in the brain
8. Scientists to make news at Computational Biology Conference
9. Accident-prone? Scientists link brain function to knee injuries
10. Scientists take next step in understanding potential target for ovarian cancer treatment
11. Scientists find brown fat master switch

Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/16/2014)... 2014) – Post-menopausal women experienced improvements in vaginal ... or genital bleeding, after 12 weeks of daily ... soy germ-based nutritional supplement previously shown to help ... peer-reviewed pilot study reported in a poster at ... meeting. , "These data documented improved vaginal ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... non-traditional biophysics textbook and it describes how life functions ... discovery into biological systems and provides an understanding of ... about how our genes make proteins that control the ... in an organism. It quantifies the principles of life ... found on both large and small scales. The book ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... SHELTON, Conn. , Oct. 15, 2014 NXT-ID, Inc. ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce market ... NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square on Monday October 13 th . ... with CTO David Tunnel and angel investor Mr. ... Gino Pereira , CEO of NXT-ID thanked his investors and employees ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):S-equol supplements associated with improved measures of reproductive health in postmenopausal women 2New book about life as seen from physics 2Photo Release: NXT-ID Inc. Rings Opening Bell of the NASDAQ Stock Market October 13th 2Photo Release: NXT-ID Inc. Rings Opening Bell of the NASDAQ Stock Market October 13th 3
(Date:10/22/2014)... , Oct. 22, 2014  Actavis plc (NYSE: ... and Rhythm, a biopharmaceutical company, today announced that Actavis ... wholly owned subsidiary, Rhythm Health, Inc., which is developing ... of diabetic gastroparesis and other GI functional disorders. ... trial of relamorelin for the treatment of diabetic gastroparesis ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... Involution Studios , a healthcare software design ... Understanding Ebola . The goal of the ... follow informative tool for anyone wanting to know more ... , "As the news has spread in all directions ... not only a healthcare crisis with global impact, but ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... 2014 Physicians Choice Laboratory Services ... menu, which enables healthcare providers to individualize therapeutic ... evidence-based results, healthcare providers are better able to ... while minimizing risks for adverse drug reactions and ... the FDA [1] more than 2.2 million adverse ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... , Oct. 22, 2014 Nuvilex, Inc. ... approximately 400 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, ... people by 2030.  The global market for diabetes treatments ... approximately 330,000 people worldwide died from pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic ... due to cancer in the United States ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Actavis Signs Option to Acquire Rhythm Subsidiary and its GI Development Product, Relamorelin 2Actavis Signs Option to Acquire Rhythm Subsidiary and its GI Development Product, Relamorelin 3Actavis Signs Option to Acquire Rhythm Subsidiary and its GI Development Product, Relamorelin 4Actavis Signs Option to Acquire Rhythm Subsidiary and its GI Development Product, Relamorelin 5Involution Studios' Ebola Infographic Provides Key Disease Information and Statistics at a Glance 2PCLS Announces Expansion of Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic Testing Menu 2PCLS Announces Expansion of Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic Testing Menu 3Nuvilex Brief Analyst Report: Thinking Outside the Box by BrokerBank Securities, Inc. 2
Cached News: