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In between: Gypsy in Drosophila melanogaster Reveals New Insights into Endogenous Retrovirus Evolution

Pathologie Comparée, Unité Mixte de Recherche 754, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, Université de Lyon, Unité Mixte de Service 3444, 69367 Lyon Cedex 7, France
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, 75014 Paris, France
Saint Jean, 69005 Lyon, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2014, 6(12), 4914-4925;
Received: 30 September 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endogenous Viruses)
Retroviruses are RNA viruses that are able to synthesize a DNA copy of their genome and insert it into a chromosome of the host cell. Sequencing of different eukaryote genomes has revealed the presence of many such endogenous retroviral sequences. The mechanisms by which these retroviral sequences have colonized the genome are still unknown, and the endogenous retrovirus gypsy of Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful experimental model for deciphering this process in vivo. Gypsy is expressed in a layer of somatic cells, and then transferred into the oocyte by an unknown mechanism. This critical step is the start of the endogenization process. Moreover gypsy has been shown to have infectious properties, probably due to its envelope gene acquired from a baculovirus. Recently we have also shown that gypsy maternal transmission is reduced in the presence of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia. These studies demonstrate that gypsy is a unique and powerful model for understanding the endogenization of retroviruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: gypsy; endogenization; piRNA silencing; Drosophila; Wolbachia gypsy; endogenization; piRNA silencing; Drosophila; Wolbachia
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Touret, F.; Guiguen, F.; Greenland, T.; Terzian, C. In between: Gypsy in Drosophila melanogaster Reveals New Insights into Endogenous Retrovirus Evolution. Viruses 2014, 6, 4914-4925.

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