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:4/17/2014)... trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for ... bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according ... collaborators. , Led by U. of I. chemistry professor ... drug SQ109 attacks the tuberculosis bacterium, how the drug ... to malaria and how targeting multiple pathways reduces ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... word for chili peppers. Information about archaeological remains of ... of the appearance of words for chili peppers in ... domesticated and highlight the value of multi-proxy data analysis. ... of nine papers presented in a special feature issue ... Sciences on plant and animal domestication edited by ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... West Orange, NJ. April 16, 2014. Kessler Foundation ... for $1.8 million from the Department of Defense ... PhD, is principal investigator for the randomized, double-blinded, ... to improve bone and muscle strength after spinal ... Human Performance & Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance 2Chickens to chili peppers 2Chickens to chili peppers 3Kessler Foundation awarded Department of Defense grant for spinal cord injury research 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... , Jan. 15, 2014 TaiGen Biotechnology Company, ... exclusive agreement with R-Pharm, a leading Russian pharmaceutical company, ... the Russian Federation , ... Independent States (CIS). Nemonoxacin is a novel antibiotic for the ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 2014 Histogen, Inc., a regenerative medicine ... grown under simulated embryonic conditions, today announced that they ... Medical, Inc. for physician-dispensed aesthetic products containing Histogen’s proprietary ... agreement is an amendment to the existing license between ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... York, NY (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 ... of Alliqua, Inc. (OTCQB: ALQA). Alliqua is an emerging ... to serve the wound care market. , Free report ... was restructured with a seasoned management team and Board, ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 iLab Solutions, the ... as the new Director of Product Strategy. In this role, ... as iLab sub-teams to guide in the development of iLab ... provides the maximum possible benefit to the scientific community by ...
Breaking Biology Technology:TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 2TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 3TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 4Histogen and Suneva Medical Expand License for Cell Conditioned Media-based Aesthetic Products Internationally 2Histogen and Suneva Medical Expand License for Cell Conditioned Media-based Aesthetic Products Internationally 3EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 3iLab Solutions Announces Michelle Detwiler as the New Director of Product Strategy 2
Cached News: