Special Issue "Endogenous Retroviruses: Contribution to Human Evolution and Physiopathology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2021.
Interests: endogenous retroviruses; HERV expression in health and diseases; antiviral immune response; transcriptomics
Interests: virology; microbiology; antiviral drugs; drug development; endogenous retroviruses; innate immunity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Special Issue in Viruses: Viral Evasion of Innate Immunity and Drug Development
Interests: ecology and evolution of viruses; viral genomics; paleovirology; bioinformatics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
A growing body of evidence indicates that evolutionary interaction with endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) has played a fundamental role in shaping mammalian evolution. For example, ERV-derived proteins and regulatory sequences have been shown to play a pivotal role in mammalian development. Furthermore, several lines of evidence support a role for ERVs in the evolution of antiviral immune responses. For example, ERV-derived sequences have been shown to play a role in regulating interferon responses. Intriguingly, viral infection can trigger the expression of otherwise silenced ERV loci, suggesting that ERVs might serve as strategic orchestrators of host antiviral defenses.
ERVs are also considered possible drivers of some of pathological conditions, primarily cancer and autoimmune disorders. In particular, it is likely that the loss of balance between the control of ERV expression and its domestication to the host physiology (e.g., in disorders characterized by immune and epigenetics dysregulation) can contribute to complex diseases.
The post-genomic era provides unprecedented possibilities to investigate ERV contribution to mammalian development and physiopathology. Unfortunately, however, ERV research remains fraught with misconceptions and challenged by complications in dealing with highly repetitive sequences.
This Special Issue aims to provide an updated survey of ERV interplay with the host biology, with particular attention to clarifying fundamental misconceptions and outlining current controversies regarding the evolutionary origins of ERVs in the human genome and their possible contributions to human evolution and pathogenesis.
Dr. Nicole Grandi
Prof. Dr. Enzo Tramontano
Dr. Robert Gifford
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- endogenous retroviruses
- transposable elements
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Mechanisms that lead to HERV activation in cancer and its implications for translational research
Authors: Elena Cherkasova1, Savannah England1, Stefan Barisic1, Long Chen1, Ujjawal Savani1, Rosa Nadal Rios1, Robert N. Reger1, and Richard W. Childs1
Affiliation: 1Laboratory of Transplantation Immunotherapy, Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics Branch, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Abstract: It is still debated whether the activation of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) serves as a true trigger for carcinogenesis or occurs as the consequence of the epigenetic alterations that follow malignant transformation. Regardless, abnormal levels of distinct HERV loci transcription and translation have been consistently observed in many types of cancer. Here we review known molecular and epigenetic mechanisms that lead to HERV activation in cancer cells and describe the role that HERV activation plays in carcinogenesis. We also describe the potential clinical impact of HERV expression in cancer diagnostics and treatment. In the past few years there has been increasing interest in exploring HERVs as novel targets for cellular-based immunotherapy. A growing number of clinical trials are currently being conducted that target HERV-originated proteins and peptides as cancer specific antigens. We believe this comprehensive review describing advances and insights into the pathophysiologic role played by HERVs will spark interest in new research that further defines their contribution to oncogenesis.