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Viruses, Volume 3, Issue 6 (June 2011), Pages 620-940

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Cell Transformation by RNA Viruses: An Overview
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 858-860; doi:10.3390/v3060858
Received: 8 June 2011 / Accepted: 14 June 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
PDF Full-text (82 KB)
Abstract
Studies of oncogenic viruses have made seminal contributions to the molecular biology of cancer. Key discoveries include the identification of viral oncogenes and cellular proto-oncogenes, elucidation of signal transduction pathways, and identification of tumor suppressor genes. The origins of cancer virology began almost exactly one [...] Read more.
Studies of oncogenic viruses have made seminal contributions to the molecular biology of cancer. Key discoveries include the identification of viral oncogenes and cellular proto-oncogenes, elucidation of signal transduction pathways, and identification of tumor suppressor genes. The origins of cancer virology began almost exactly one hundred years ago with the discovery of avian sarcoma and acute leukemia viruses—RNA-containing viruses of the retrovirus family. The study of animal cancer viruses accelerated beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with the discovery of DNA viruses that could transform cells in culture, and the development of quantitative assays for transformation by DNA and RNA-containing tumor viruses. The discovery of reverse transcriptase in retroviruses in 1970 also greatly accelerated research on these viruses. Indeed RNA and DNA tumor viruses led the way in cancer molecular biology during this era before molecular cloning. It was possible to physically purify virus particles and generate specific hybridization probes for viral DNA and RNA at a time when it was not possible to analyze cellular genes in the same manner. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Transformation by RNA Viruses)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Characterization of a Full-Length Endogenous Beta-Retrovirus, EqERV-Beta1, in the Genome of the Horse (Equus caballus)
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 620-628; doi:10.3390/v3060620
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 9 May 2011 / Accepted: 11 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (200 KB)
Abstract
Information on endogenous retroviruses fixed in the horse (Equus caballus) genome is scarce. The recent availability of a draft sequence of the horse genome enables the detection of such integrated viruses by similarity search. Using translated nucleotide fragments from gamma-, [...] Read more.
Information on endogenous retroviruses fixed in the horse (Equus caballus) genome is scarce. The recent availability of a draft sequence of the horse genome enables the detection of such integrated viruses by similarity search. Using translated nucleotide fragments from gamma-, beta-, and delta-retroviral genera for initial searches, a full-length beta-retrovirus genome was retrieved from a horse chromosome 5 contig. The provirus, tentatively named EqERV-beta1 (for the first equine endogenous beta-retrovirus), was 10434 nucleotide (nt) in length with the usual retroviral genome structure of 5’LTR-gag-pro-pol-env-3’LTR. The LTRs were 1361 nt long, and differed approximately 1% from each other, suggestive of a relatively recent integration. Coding sequences for gag, pro and pol were present in three different reading-frames, as common for beta-retroviruses, and the reading frames were completely open, except that the env gene was interrupted by a single stopcodon. No reading frame was apparent downstream of the env gene, suggesting that EqERV-beta1 does not encode a superantigen like mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV). A second proviral genome of EqERV-beta1, with no stopcodon in env, is additionally integrated on chromosome 5 downstream of the first virus. Single EqERV-beta1 LTRs were abundantly present on all chromosomes except chromosome 24. Phylogenetically, EqERV-beta1 most closely resembles an unclassified retroviral sequence from cattle (Bos taurus), and the murine beta-retrovirus MMTV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paleovirology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Is Network Clustering Detectable in Transmission Trees?
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 659-676; doi:10.3390/v3060659
Received: 20 April 2011 / Accepted: 14 May 2011 / Published: 3 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3288 KB)
Abstract
Networks are often used to model the contact processes that allow pathogens to spread between hosts but it remains unclear which models best describe these networks. One question is whether clustering in networks, roughly defined as the propensity for triangles to form, [...] Read more.
Networks are often used to model the contact processes that allow pathogens to spread between hosts but it remains unclear which models best describe these networks. One question is whether clustering in networks, roughly defined as the propensity for triangles to form, affects the dynamics of disease spread. We perform a simulation study to see if there is a signal in epidemic transmission trees of clustering. We simulate susceptible-exposed-infectious-removed (SEIR) epidemics (with no re-infection) over networks with fixed degree sequences but different levels of clustering and compare trees from networks with the same degree sequence and different clustering levels. We find that the variation of such trees simulated on networks with different levels of clustering is barely greater than those simulated on networks with the same level of clustering, suggesting that clustering can not be detected in transmission data when re-infection does not occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus Dynamics and Evolution)

Review

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Open AccessReview The Role of Interferon Antagonist, Non-Structural Proteins in the Pathogenesis and Emergence of Arboviruses
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 629-658; doi:10.3390/v3060629
Received: 5 April 2011 / Revised: 4 May 2011 / Accepted: 7 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (750 KB)
Abstract
A myriad of factors favor the emergence and re-emergence of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), including migration, climate change, intensified livestock production, an increasing volume of international trade and transportation, and changes to ecosystems (e.g., deforestation and loss of biodiversity). Consequently, arboviruses are distributed [...] Read more.
A myriad of factors favor the emergence and re-emergence of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), including migration, climate change, intensified livestock production, an increasing volume of international trade and transportation, and changes to ecosystems (e.g., deforestation and loss of biodiversity). Consequently, arboviruses are distributed worldwide and represent over 30% of all emerging infectious diseases identified in the past decade. Although some arboviral infections go undetected or are associated with mild, flu-like symptoms, many are important human and veterinary pathogens causing serious illnesses such as arthritis, gastroenteritis, encephalitis and hemorrhagic fever and devastating economic loss as a consequence of lost productivity and high mortality rates among livestock. One of the most consistent molecular features of emerging arboviruses, in addition to their near exclusive use of RNA genomes, is the inclusion of viral, non-structural proteins that act as interferon antagonists. In this review, we describe these interferon antagonists and common strategies that arboviruses use to counter the host innate immune response. In addition, we discuss the complex interplay between host factors and viral determinants that are associated with virus emergence and re-emergence, and identify potential targets for vaccine and anti-viral therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Emerging and Re-Emerging RNA Viruses)
Figures

Open AccessReview Gammaretroviral Vectors: Biology, Technology and Application
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 677-713; doi:10.3390/v3060677
Received: 8 March 2011 / Revised: 3 May 2011 / Accepted: 9 May 2011 / Published: 3 June 2011
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (835 KB)
Abstract
Retroviruses are evolutionary optimized gene carriers that have naturally adapted to their hosts to efficiently deliver their nucleic acids into the target cell chromatin, thereby overcoming natural cellular barriers. Here we will review—starting with a deeper look into retroviral biology—how Murine Leukemia [...] Read more.
Retroviruses are evolutionary optimized gene carriers that have naturally adapted to their hosts to efficiently deliver their nucleic acids into the target cell chromatin, thereby overcoming natural cellular barriers. Here we will review—starting with a deeper look into retroviral biology—how Murine Leukemia Virus (MLV), a simple gammaretrovirus, can be converted into an efficient vehicle of genetic therapeutics. Furthermore, we will describe how more rational vector backbones can be designed and how these so-called self-inactivating vectors can be pseudotyped and produced. Finally, we will provide an overview on existing clinical trials and how biosafety can be improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retroviral Vectors)
Open AccessReview Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus: A Model of NF-κB-Associated Tumorigenesis
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 714-749; doi:10.3390/v3060714
Received: 2 April 2011 / Revised: 13 May 2011 / Accepted: 1 June 2011 / Published: 10 June 2011
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (559 KB)
Abstract
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), whereas the highly related HTLV-2 is not associated with ATL or other cancers. In addition to ATL leukemogenesis, studies of the HTLV viruses also provide an [...] Read more.
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), whereas the highly related HTLV-2 is not associated with ATL or other cancers. In addition to ATL leukemogenesis, studies of the HTLV viruses also provide an exceptional model for understanding basic pathogenic mechanisms of virus-host interactions and human oncogenesis. Accumulating evidence suggests that the viral regulatory protein Tax and host inflammatory transcription factor NF-kB are largely responsible for the different pathogenic potentials of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. Here, we discuss the molecular mechanisms of HTLV-1 oncogenic pathogenesis with a focus on the interplay between the Tax oncoprotein and NF-κB pro-oncogenic signaling. We also outline some of the most intriguing and outstanding questions in the fields of HTLV and NF-κB. Answers to those questions will greatly advance our understanding of ATL leukemogenesis and other NF-κB-associated tumorigenesis and will help us design personalized cancer therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)
Open AccessReview Controversies in Targeted Therapy of Adult T Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma: ON Target or OFF Target Effects?
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 750-769; doi:10.3390/v3060750
Received: 8 April 2011 / Revised: 16 May 2011 / Accepted: 17 May 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (195 KB)
Abstract
Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) represents an ideal model for targeted therapy because of intrinsic chemo-resistance of ATL cells and the presence of two well identified targets: the HTLV-I retrovirus and the viral oncoprotein Tax. The combination of zidovudine (AZT) and interferon-alpha [...] Read more.
Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) represents an ideal model for targeted therapy because of intrinsic chemo-resistance of ATL cells and the presence of two well identified targets: the HTLV-I retrovirus and the viral oncoprotein Tax. The combination of zidovudine (AZT) and interferon-alpha (IFN) has a dramatic impact on survival of ATL patients. Although the mechanism of action remains unclear, arguments in favor or against a direct antiviral effect will be discussed. Yet, most patients relapse and alternative therapies are mandatory. IFN and arsenic trioxide induce Tax proteolysis, synergize to induce apoptosis in ATL cells and cure Tax-driven ATL in mice through specific targeting of leukemia initiating cell activity. These results provide a biological basis for the clinical success of arsenic/IFN/AZT therapy in ATL patients and suggest that both extinction of viral replication (AZT) and Tax degradation (arsenic/IFN) are needed to cure ATL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)
Open AccessReview New Insights into HTLV-1 Particle Structure, Assembly, and Gag-Gag Interactions in Living Cells
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 770-793; doi:10.3390/v3060770
Received: 15 April 2011 / Revised: 20 May 2011 / Accepted: 20 May 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (578 KB)
Abstract
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) has a reputation for being extremely difficult to study in cell culture. The challenges in propagating HTLV-1 has prevented a rigorous analysis of how these viruses replicate in cells, including the detailed steps involved in [...] Read more.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) has a reputation for being extremely difficult to study in cell culture. The challenges in propagating HTLV-1 has prevented a rigorous analysis of how these viruses replicate in cells, including the detailed steps involved in virus assembly. The details for how retrovirus particle assembly occurs are poorly understood, even for other more tractable retroviral systems. Recent studies on HTLV-1 using state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy and fluorescence-based biophysical approaches explored questions related to HTLV-1 particle size, Gag stoichiometry in virions, and Gag-Gag interactions in living cells. These results provided new and exciting insights into fundamental aspects of HTLV-1 particle assembly—which are distinct from those of other retroviruses, including HIV-1. The application of these and other novel biophysical approaches promise to provide exciting new insights into HTLV-1 replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)
Open AccessReview Molecular Aspects of HTLV-1 Entry: Functional Domains of the HTLV-1 Surface Subunit (SU) and Their Relationships to the Entry Receptors
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 794-810; doi:10.3390/v3060794
Received: 20 April 2011 / Revised: 20 May 2011 / Accepted: 23 May 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (536 KB)
Abstract
The initial step in retroviral infection involves specific interactions between viral envelope proteins (Env) and specific receptors on the surface of target cells. For many years, little was known about the entry receptors for HTLV-1. During this time, however, functional domains of [...] Read more.
The initial step in retroviral infection involves specific interactions between viral envelope proteins (Env) and specific receptors on the surface of target cells. For many years, little was known about the entry receptors for HTLV-1. During this time, however, functional domains of the HTLV-1 Env were identified by analyzing the effects of neutralizing antibodies and specific mutations in Env on HTLV-1 infectivity. More recent studies have revealed that HTLV-1 infectivity involves interactions with three different molecules: heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG), the VEGF-165 receptor Neuropilin 1 (NRP-1) and glucose transporter type 1 (GLUT1). Here, we revisit previously published data on the functional domains of Env in regard to the recent knowledge acquired about this multi-receptor complex. We also discuss the similarities and differences between HTLV-1 and other deltaretroviruses in regards to receptor usage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)
Figures

Open AccessReview West Nile Virus: Immunity and Pathogenesis
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 811-828; doi:10.3390/v3060811
Received: 3 April 2011 / Revised: 26 May 2011 / Accepted: 27 May 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (336 KB)
Abstract
West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic, arthropod-borne flavivirus that is maintained in an enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and birds, but can also infect and cause disease in horses and humans. WNV is endemic in parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East, [...] Read more.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic, arthropod-borne flavivirus that is maintained in an enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and birds, but can also infect and cause disease in horses and humans. WNV is endemic in parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and since 1999 has spread to North America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. WNV infects the central nervous system (CNS) and can cause severe disease in a small minority of infected humans, mostly immunocompromised or the elderly. This review discusses some of the mechanisms by which the immune system can limit dissemination of WNV infection and elaborates on the mechanisms involved in pathogenesis. Reasons for susceptibility to WNV-associated neuroinvasive disease in less than 1% of cases remain unexplained, but one favored hypothesis is that the involvement of the CNS is associated with a weak immune response allowing robust WNV replication in the periphery and spread of the virus to the CNS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Emerging and Re-Emerging RNA Viruses)
Open AccessReview Move or Die: the Fate of the Tax Oncoprotein of HTLV-1
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 829-857; doi:10.3390/v3060829
Received: 14 May 2011 / Revised: 31 May 2011 / Accepted: 1 June 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1194 KB)
Abstract
The HTLV-1 Tax protein both activates viral replication and is involved in HTLV-1-mediated transformation of T lymphocytes. The transforming properties of Tax include altering the expression of select cellular genes via activation of cellular pathways and perturbation of both cell cycle control [...] Read more.
The HTLV-1 Tax protein both activates viral replication and is involved in HTLV-1-mediated transformation of T lymphocytes. The transforming properties of Tax include altering the expression of select cellular genes via activation of cellular pathways and perturbation of both cell cycle control mechanisms and apoptotic signals. The recent discovery that Tax undergoes a hierarchical sequence of posttranslational modifications that control its intracellular localization provides provocative insights into the mechanisms regulating Tax transcriptional and transforming activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)
Open AccessReview Orf-I and Orf-II-Encoded Proteins in HTLV-1 Infection and Persistence
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 861-885; doi:10.3390/v3060861
Received: 13 April 2011 / Revised: 25 May 2011 / Accepted: 26 May 2011 / Published: 17 June 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (499 KB)
Abstract
The 3' end of the human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type-1 (HTLV-1) genome contains four overlapping open reading frames (ORF) that encode regulatory proteins. Here, we review current knowledge of HTLV-1 orf-I and orf-II protein products. Singly spliced mRNA from orf-I encodes p12, [...] Read more.
The 3' end of the human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type-1 (HTLV-1) genome contains four overlapping open reading frames (ORF) that encode regulatory proteins. Here, we review current knowledge of HTLV-1 orf-I and orf-II protein products. Singly spliced mRNA from orf-I encodes p12, which can be proteolytically cleaved to generate p8, while differential splicing of mRNA from orf-II results in production of p13 and p30. These proteins have been demonstrated to modulate transcription, apoptosis, host cell activation and proliferation, virus infectivity and transmission, and host immune responses. Though these proteins are not essential for virus replication in vitro, p8, p12, p13, and p30 have an important role in the establishment and maintenance of HTLV-1 infection in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)
Open AccessReview Targeting HTLV-1 Activation of NFκB in Mouse Models and ATLL Patients
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 886-900; doi:10.3390/v3060886
Received: 27 April 2011 / Revised: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 21 June 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (743 KB)
Abstract
Of the millions of HTLV-1 infected carriers worldwide, 3–5% will develop an aggressive T-cell neoplasm that is highly refractory to conventional therapy. The virus carries the Tax oncogene which constitutively activates the NFκB pathway. This co-option of signaling through NFκB provides for [...] Read more.
Of the millions of HTLV-1 infected carriers worldwide, 3–5% will develop an aggressive T-cell neoplasm that is highly refractory to conventional therapy. The virus carries the Tax oncogene which constitutively activates the NFκB pathway. This co-option of signaling through NFκB provides for the HTLV-1 infected cell an escape from cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, a steady source of growth factors, and a mechanism by which the virus can activate its own target cell. Therapies that target the NFκB pathway sensitize adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) cells to apoptosis. A focus on translational interrogation of NFκB inhibitors in animal models and ATLL patients is needed to advance NFκB-targeted ATLL therapies to the bedside. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)
Open AccessReview RIG-I Like Receptors in Antiviral Immunity and Therapeutic Applications
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 906-919; doi:10.3390/v3060906
Received: 9 April 2011 / Revised: 4 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (315 KB)
Abstract
The RNA helicase family of RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) is a key component of host defense mechanisms responsible for detecting viruses and triggering innate immune signaling cascades to control viral replication and dissemination. As cytoplasm-based sensors, RLRs recognize foreign RNA in the cell [...] Read more.
The RNA helicase family of RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) is a key component of host defense mechanisms responsible for detecting viruses and triggering innate immune signaling cascades to control viral replication and dissemination. As cytoplasm-based sensors, RLRs recognize foreign RNA in the cell and activate a cascade of antiviral responses including the induction of type I interferons, inflammasome activation, and expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. This review provides a brief overview of RLR function, ligand interactions, and downstream signaling events with an expanded discussion on the therapeutic potential of targeting RLRs for immune stimulation and treatment of virus infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Innate Immunity)
Open AccessReview Pattern Recognition Receptors and the Innate Immune Response to Viral Infection
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 920-940; doi:10.3390/v3060920
Received: 13 April 2011 / Revised: 27 May 2011 / Accepted: 2 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 138 | PDF Full-text (362 KB)
Abstract
The innate immune response to viral pathogens is critical in order to mobilize protective immunity. Cells of the innate immune system detect viral infection largely through germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) present either on the cell surface or within distinct intracellular compartments. [...] Read more.
The innate immune response to viral pathogens is critical in order to mobilize protective immunity. Cells of the innate immune system detect viral infection largely through germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) present either on the cell surface or within distinct intracellular compartments. These include the Toll-like receptors (TLRs), the retinoic acid-inducble gene I-like receptors (RLRs), the nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLRs, also called NACHT, LRR and PYD domain proteins) and cytosolic DNA sensors. While in certain cases viral proteins are the trigger of these receptors, the predominant viral activators are nucleic acids. The presence of viral sensing PRRs in multiple cellular compartments allows innate cells to recognize and quickly respond to a broad range of viruses, which replicate in different cellular compartments. Here, we review the role of PRRs and associated signaling pathways in detecting viral pathogens in order to evoke production of interferons and cytokines. By highlighting recent progress in these areas, we hope to convey a greater understanding of how viruses activate PRR signaling and how this interaction shapes the anti-viral immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Innate Immunity)

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Review

Open AccessCommentary Role of Human Endogenous Retroviral Long Terminal Repeats (LTRs) in Maintaining the Integrity of the Human Germ Line
Viruses 2011, 3(6), 901-905; doi:10.3390/v3060901
Received: 27 April 2011 / Revised: 10 June 2011 / Accepted: 15 June 2011 / Published: 21 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (185 KB)
Abstract
Retroviruses integrate a reverse transcribed double stranded DNA copy of their viral genome into the chromosomal DNA of cells they infect. Occasionally, exogenous retroviruses infect germ cells and when this happens a profound shift in the virus host dynamic occurs. Retroviruses maintained [...] Read more.
Retroviruses integrate a reverse transcribed double stranded DNA copy of their viral genome into the chromosomal DNA of cells they infect. Occasionally, exogenous retroviruses infect germ cells and when this happens a profound shift in the virus host dynamic occurs. Retroviruses maintained as hereditable viral genetic material are referred to as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). After millions of years of co-evolution with their hosts many human ERVs retain some degree of function and a few have even become symbionts. Thousands of copies of endogenous retrovirus long terminal repeats (LTRs) exist in the human genome. There are approximately 3000 to 4000 copies of the ERV-9 LTRs in the human genome and like other solo LTRs, ERV-9 LTRs can exhibit distinct promoter/enhancer activity in different cell lineages. It has been recently reported that a novel transcript of p63, a primordial member of the p53 family, is under the transcriptional control of an ERV-9 LTR [1]. The expression of different p63 transcript isoforms has been previously shown to have an important role in replenishing cutaneous epithelial stem cells and maintaining the fidelity of the female germ line [2]. In this recent report, a novel p63 transcript, designated GTAp63, is described as specifically expressed in healthy human testes and germ cell precursors of human testes but not in testicular cancer cells. The ability of ERV-9 regulatory regions to contribute to the maintenance of male germ line stability is yet another example of how ERVs have evolved to serve an important function in the physiology of their human hosts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Editorial)

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