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Genes 2013, 4(4), 573-582; doi:10.3390/genes4040573

Pathological and Evolutionary Implications of Retroviruses as Mobile Genetic Elements

1
Department of Biology, Colorado State University, 801 Oval Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2
Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, 801 Oval Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
3
Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Colorado State University, 801 Oval Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2013 / Revised: 27 September 2013 / Accepted: 8 October 2013 / Published: 24 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genetics and Genomics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [115 KB, uploaded 24 October 2013]

Abstract

Retroviruses, a form of mobile genetic elements, have important roles in disease and primate evolution. Exogenous retroviruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), have significant pathological implications that have created a massive public health challenge in recent years. Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are the primary focus of this review, can also be pathogenic, as well as being beneficial to a host in some cases. Furthermore, retroviruses may have played a key role in primate evolution that resulted in the incorporation of these elements into the human genome. Retroviruses are mobile genetic elements that have important roles in disease and primate evolution. We will further discuss the pathogenic potential of retroviruses, including their role in cancer biology, and will briefly summarize their evolutionary implications. View Full-Text
Keywords: transposon; mobile genetic element; virology transposon; mobile genetic element; virology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hayes, M.; Whitesell, M.; Brown, M.A. Pathological and Evolutionary Implications of Retroviruses as Mobile Genetic Elements. Genes 2013, 4, 573-582.

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