Special Issue "Endogenous Retroviruses in Development and Disease"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Molly Gale Hammell
Guest Editor
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA
Tel. 516-367-5009
Interests: ERV biology; human genomics; neurodegenerative disease
Dr. Helen Mary Rowe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
Interests: epigenetic control of ERVs in development; ERVs as adjuvants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent a large fraction of human genomes, and yet have frequently been ignored in genomic studies due to the difficulties in dealing with these highly repetitive sequences. New technological and computational tools have enabled the better inclusion of ERV sequences, which allows for the probing of contributions to human development and disease. While the transcription and mobility of ERVs is generally tightly regulated, certain developmental windows allow for elevated ERV activity, which can have both beneficial and detrimental consequences. Beyond these developmental windows, there appears to be variable activity in aging somatic cells that may accumulate over time. Specifically, evidence is mounting suggesting that ERV activity is a contributing factor in several age-associated human diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegeneration. However, many open questions remain. How is ERV silencing maintained in different somatic cell types? Does imperfect ERV regulation allow for their gradual accumulation in very long-lived cells? Are ERVs normally activated for the benefit of their hosts in certain contexts, for example to help to sustain an immune response upon pathogen challenge? What are the downstream molecular consequences of ERV activity for the cell, including in cancer or autoimmune disease?

This Special Issue is designed to provide a current survey of ERV biology, tools for ERV genomics, developmental regulation of ERV sequences, and links to human disease.

Dr. Molly Gale Hammell
Dr. Helen Mary Rowe
Guest Editors

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. Viruses 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
  • ERVs
  • cancer
  • neurodegeneration
  • transposable elements
  • genetics
  • epigenetics and genomics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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