Retroviral invasion of the koala genome

Tarlinton, R. E., Meers, J. and Young, P. R. (2006) Retroviral invasion of the koala genome. Nature, 442 7098: 79-81. doi:10.1038/nature04841

Author Tarlinton, R. E.
Meers, J.
Young, P. R.
Title Retroviral invasion of the koala genome
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-0836
Publication date 2006-06-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nature04841
Volume 442
Issue 7098
Start page 79
End page 81
Total pages 3
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
270303 Virology
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract Endogenous retroviruses are a common ancestral feature of mammalian genomes with most having been inactivated over time through mutation and deletion(1). A group of more intact endogenous retroviruses are considered to have entered the genomes of some species more recently, through infection by exogenous viruses(2), but this event has never been directly proved. We have previously reported koala retrovirus (KoRV) to be a functional virus that is associated with neoplasia(3). Here we show that KoRV also shows features of a recently inserted endogenous retrovirus that is vertically transmitted. The finding that some isolated koala populations have not yet incorporated KoRV into their genomes, combined with its high level of activity and variability in individual koalas, suggests that KoRV is a virus in transition between an exogenous and endogenous element. This ongoing dynamic interaction with a wild species provides an exciting opportunity to study the process and consequences of retroviral endogenization in action, and is an attractive model for studying the evolutionary event in which a retrovirus invades a mammalian genome.
Keyword Virology
Germ line integration
Ape leukemia-virus
Endogenous retroviruses
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 09:11:42 EST