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Viruses 2015, 7(6), 2928-2942;

The Roles of Syncytin-Like Proteins in Ruminant Placentation

Department of Infectious Diseases, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kawaramachi-hirokoji-Kajiicho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan
Laboratory of Signal Transduction, Department of Cell Biology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, 53 Shogoin-Kawaharacho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Welkin Johnson
Received: 8 February 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endogenous Viruses)
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Recent developments in genome sequencing techniques have led to the identification of huge numbers of endogenous retroviruses (ERV) in various mammals. ERVs, which occupy 8%–13% of mammalian genomes, are believed to affect mammalian evolution and biological diversity. Although the functional significance of most ERVs remains to be elucidated, several ERVs are thought to have pivotal roles in host physiology. We and other groups recently identified ERV envelope proteins (e.g., Fematrin-1, Syncytin-Rum1, endogenous Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus Env) that may determine the morphogenesis of the unique fused trophoblast cells, termed trinucleate cells and syncytial plaques, found in ruminant placentas; however, there are still a number of outstanding issues with regard to the role of ERVs that remain to be resolved. Here, we review what is known about how these ERVs have contributed to the development of ruminant-specific trophoblast cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: ruminants; endogenous retrovirus; envelope glycoprotein; fematrin-1; syncytin-rum1; placenta; cell-to-cell fusion ruminants; endogenous retrovirus; envelope glycoprotein; fematrin-1; syncytin-rum1; placenta; cell-to-cell fusion

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Nakaya, Y.; Miyazawa, T. The Roles of Syncytin-Like Proteins in Ruminant Placentation. Viruses 2015, 7, 2928-2942.

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