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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/21/2020)... , ... May 20, 2020 , ... Law Enforcement has ... danger for all of us. The positions of these men and women put them ... defense for not following rules precisely. Officers have always had to face very high ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... ... May 12, 2020 , ... ... helps Life Science Manufacturers accurately and easily project contracted liabilities with payers, ... Gross-to-Net models by projecting discounts/rebates to Commercial and Government entities, Copay and ...
(Date:5/11/2020)... ... May 11, 2020 , ... Octagos Health, a Houston-based ... implanted cardiac devices. The Octagos software allows healthcare professionals access to cardiac patients’ ... the management of remote transmissions and at the same time provides real-time patient ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/7/2020)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... April 06, 2020 , ... ... and process solutions for the life sciences industry, has announced the release of ... developing quickly, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees ...
(Date:4/1/2020)... ... March 30, 2020 , ... A joint venture ... (RID), formed earlier this year to bring telehealth to various government agencies, has ... COVID-19. Company officials are currently?awaiting an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) waiver from the ...
(Date:4/1/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... March 31, 2020 , ... Carterra® Inc., ... for Immunology (LJI), announced today that they will use Carterra’s proprietary LSA™ platform to ... candidates to the clinic as early as this summer. , La Jolla Institute ...
(Date:3/27/2020)... MANHATTAN, Kansas (PRWEB) , ... ... ... LLC proudly announces the opening of its veterinary histopathology laboratory located centrally ... offer partnering clients the ability to work with a highly motivated, independent, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: