Viruses 2011, 3(6), 620-628; doi:10.3390/v3060620
Article

Characterization of a Full-Length Endogenous Beta-Retrovirus, EqERV-Beta1, in the Genome of the Horse (Equus caballus)

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Received: 18 April 2011; in revised form: 9 May 2011 / Accepted: 11 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paleovirology)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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-, 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.
Keywords: Equus caballus; horse; endogenous virus; full-length; beta-retrovirus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Van der Kuyl, A.C. Characterization of a Full-Length Endogenous Beta-Retrovirus, EqERV-Beta1, in the Genome of the Horse (Equus caballus). Viruses 2011, 3, 620-628.

AMA Style

Van der Kuyl AC. Characterization of a Full-Length Endogenous Beta-Retrovirus, EqERV-Beta1, in the Genome of the Horse (Equus caballus). Viruses. 2011; 3(6):620-628.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Van der Kuyl, Antoinette C. 2011. "Characterization of a Full-Length Endogenous Beta-Retrovirus, EqERV-Beta1, in the Genome of the Horse (Equus caballus)." Viruses 3, no. 6: 620-628.


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