Talk:Endogenous retrovirus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Viruses (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Viruses, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of viruses on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Difference between Retrotransposon#LTR_retrotransposons and endogenous retrovirus?[edit]

I've heard a version where retrotransposons containing LTR and endogenous retroviruses are one and the same thing. Personally I can't see the difference. I would appreciate if somebody make the difference clear in the text, or write that they are the same thing. Mortsggah 07:47, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Identification of ERVs[edit]

I think this article would benefit from a discussion of identification of ERVs - ie how we know that given piece of DNA is an ERV. 13:09, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree. It would be nice to know how they concluded that ERVs even existed. Is there some tell-tale sequence of DNA that screams "I'm a virus!"? SCooley138 (talk) 00:24, 17 November 2012 (UTC)


This article is good: New Yorker

what he means is, This article from the New Yorker about retroviral genes in humans is a good article. (not This Article you're reading right now in Wikipedia. duh.) And I read it and it is a REALLY good article! Funny, I saw this article when it first came out and it didn't make much of an impression. It's important; check out how the reason an implanted egg in a vertebrate like us is able to survive is a relic of retroviral assault.Richard8081 (talk) 01:00, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Actually it's rubbish:

Villarreal predicts that, without an effective AIDS vaccine, nearly the entire population of Africa will eventually perish. “We can also expect at least a few humans to survive,’’ he wrote. They would be people who have been infected with H.I.V. yet, for some reason, do not get sick. “These survivors would thus be left to repopulate the continent. However, the resulting human population would be distinct” from those whom H.I.V. makes sick. These people would have acquired some combination of genes that confers resistance to H.I.V. There are already examples of specific mutations that seem to protect people against the virus. (For H.I.V. to infect immune cells, for example, it must normally dock with a receptor that sits on the surface of those cells. There are people, though, whose genes instruct them to build defective receptors. Those with two copies of that defect, one from each parent, are resistant to H.I.V. infection no matter how often they are exposed to the virus.) The process might take tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of years, but Darwinian selection would ultimately favor such mutations, and provide the opportunity for the evolution of a fitter human population. “If this were to be the outcome,’’ Villarreal wrote, “we would see a new species of human, marked by its newly acquired endogenous viruses.” The difference between us and this new species would be much like the difference that we know exists between humans and chimpanzees.

There are three things wrong with this paragraph (and I doubt that Villarreal is responsible for any of them).

  1. natural selection of those with a double defect of the receptor does not create a new speices.
  2. nor would the resulting population have a newly acquired endogenous virus
  3. the difference between humans an chimpanzees orders of magnitude greater.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:28, 26 June 2015 (UTC).


Thanks for the interesting article can somone clarify the following?

1. This isn't clear: "During pregnancy ... ERVs are activated and produced in high quantities" ERVs are produced by what? Retroviruses?

    Matt Mosh - Answer: REVs multiply as it thinks it is needed to (biological, fisical or psychologic reflexes). So if they multiply, they come from themselves.

2. "viral fusion proteins apparently cause the formation of the placental syncytium" I don't think this has been proven, from the NYker article: "the protein syncytin, which causes placental cells to fuse together, employs the exact mechanism that enables retroviruses to latch on to the cells they infect". Thanks (talk) 12:25, 2 January 2008 (UTC)Sligahan

HERV K113 in ScienceDaily[edit]

Rockefeller University. "New Evidence Of Battle Between Humans And Ancient Virus." ScienceDaily 23 July 2008. retrieved on 1 September 2008. DutchTreat (talk) 19:58, 1 September 2008 (UTC)


Would it be inappropriate to add a link to Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio which uses as its premise the reactivation of HERV introns? Royan (talk) 15:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

HERV-K and PtERV[edit]

Is HERV-K the same as Pan troglodytes endogenous retrovirus? The reference to the latter in the HIV article has now been removed, but the science daily article made me think they're the same. Molitorppd22 (talk) 10:04, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Some (two) HERV-K variants have been found in P. troglodytes, but most have not. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:21, 26 June 2015 (UTC).

Endogenous retroviruses are from germline introgressions[edit]

The New Yorker article and recent reports of endogenous lentiviruses neglects the possibility that the lentiviral introgressions in genome projects are exogenous. The genome projects are done using blood, not germline cells. Joanpontius (talk) 23:15, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

particularly awkward sentence[edit]

" An immunoevasive action was the initial normal behavior of the viral protein, in order to avail for the virus to spread to other cells by simply merging them with the infected one (HIV does this too)." This sentence really needs to be rewritten, but i really don't know what it means to communicate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rmwilliamsjr (talkcontribs) 18:10, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Article I found on the BBC[edit]

Hi I found this article on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation): and I was wondering if it could be of use? The subtitle of the article is "races of ancient viruses which infected our ancestors millions of years ago are more widespread in us than previously thought". It also links to an abstract of the study done jointly by the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Centre (New York, USA) and the Rega Institute (Belgium), which was conducted at Oxford University. (talk) 11:29, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

what's ORF?[edit]

The acronym ORF appears for the first and only time in the phrase "the insertion of a solo ERV-9 LTR may have produced a functional ORF" without having been explained previously. What is an ORF? If you know, could you please complement the phrase in the article appropriately? (talk) 19:46, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

An ORF is a open reading frame. It refers to the sequence that is 'read' by RNA poymerase to form a functional mRNA. It is a basic and common acronym within molecular biology, though perhaps it should be linked to the appropiate article in wikipedia... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:45, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

sera of people?[edit]

Was this intended to refer to a group of people having the same serum type, or belonging to the Sera people group? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

it has been posted that the HERV is related to vampiric tendancies and the military looks for this is this true? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

The following article is an indication of the relevance of this subject (open access): Balestrieri et al. (2012): HERVs Expression in Autism Spectrum Disorders. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pchprudon (talkcontribs) 08:37, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

HERV relation to HGT[edit]

I'm still not getting what relation HERV has to HGT. The HGT people tend to like talking about single-celled organisms. Do ERV (and HERV) involve HGT or not? (20040302 (talk) 14:28, 23 March 2013 (UTC))

Introductory sentence[edit]

The introductory sentence currently reads:

Endogenous retroviruses are endogenous viral elements that are derived from retroviruses, and they are abundant in the genomes of jawed vertebrates.

which is saying little more than an endogenous retrovirus is a retrovirus that is endogenous. Is it possible to have a less circular and more illuminating introductory sentence? (Unfortunately I am not knowledgeable enough to suggest an good alternative.) (talk) 11:38, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I thought that was pretty subtle, the way it said nothing and then said there was something about being a "jawed" vertebrate, like you could talk maybe; you know, you could jaw. Clever. It was clever because it was right after a sentence that didn't say anything but sounded , uhh, learned.Richard8081 (talk) 01:08, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Implication that all ERVs are functional given by the introduction.[edit]

The introduction contains the text:

ERVs are a subclass of a type of gene called a transposon which is able to be packaged and moved within the genome to serve a vital role in gene expression and regulation. [2] [3]

This gives the impression that a defining property of ERVs is that they 'serve a vital role in gene expression and regulation', and that the reason for them being 'packaged and moved within the genome' is to fulfil this role of regulation. Now, it is true that some individual ERVs do now serve vital roles. However, many do not, and the ones that do were not inserted with the biological function of regulating genes in-mind (as it were). It is not the function of ERVs in general to regulate gene expression. It is an accident of evolution that some now do. I suggest breaking this up into two sentences, the former dealing with the movement and copying within the genome, and a second one stating that the presence of an ERV can modify the regulation of nearby genes, something which evolution has in some case co-opted. Matthew Pocock (talk) 19:47, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

I thoroughly concur with Matthew Pocock. The overwhelming majority of transposons are parasites. All living entities would be better off without them.LM6407 (talk) 05:10, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

2nd half of opening paragraph has all the right words but not, necessarily, in the right order[edit]

The second half of the opening paragraph looks like this:

Researchers suggest that retroviruses have evolved from a type of transposable gene called a retrotransposon which includes ERVs; these genes can mutate and instead of moving to another location in the genome they can became exogenous/pathogenic. This means that all ERVs may not have originated as an insertion by a retrovirus but rather some may have been the source of origin for the genetic information in the retroviruses they resemble. [4]

This has lots of nods to interesting and important ERV biology, but is a bit science-salady.

Researchers suggest: So I don't care much what researchers may or may not suggest, what matters is what research suggests. Picky point, I know, but scientific authority rests with the research, not the researcher. Suggestion: substitute 'researchers with research.

Retrotramsposons aren't a gene. They are, as the retrotransposon page says, genetic elements. They typically are comprised of several genes, together with flanking repeat regions. Suggestion: substitute genes with genetic elements.

Stating that ERVs evolved from retrotransposons and then saying that retrotransposons include ERVs seems redundant. It threw me the first few times I read it. Suggestion: just end the sentence after ERVs.

The next fragment deals with ERV resurrection, were an endogenous version regains the ability to be exogenous. Does this belong in the introduction at all? Suggestion: replace everything after ERVs; with something like this (which needs copy-editing):

ERVs are passed from parent to child in-place within the genome. Some ERVs retain the ability to 'hop' (transpose) to new positions within the genome[*], and others the ability to make duplicates of themselves[*], allowing ERVs to continually increase their colonisation of the host genome. Occasionally, ERVs pick up mutations that re-activate their ability to function as a retrovirus, becoming the progenitor of a new lineage of retroviruses descended from ERVs[4].

We may want references for the two claims I've starred. Matthew Pocock (talk) 20:05, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Source of Origin?[edit]

"Source of Origin"? Use either 'source of' or 'origin of' not both.


Why no page on "exogenous retroviruses" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:7:8500:982:5847:5F96:C5F0:633A (talk) 20:10, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Exogenous retroviruses are the "norm", so don't currently need special treatment. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:34, 26 June 2015 (UTC).

Use of the word 'novel'[edit]

A message is displayed upon entering the page stating that; "This article appears to use the buzzword "novel" as used for patent office applications, this is not the way to write encyclopedic info. Specific concerns may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article if you can. (November 2014)"

This is not true: the word 'novel' is often used in the scientific litterature and it is analogous to the word 'new'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

I agree and I have removed the message. Graham Beards (talk) 21:04, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Include template repeated sequence into this article[edit]

Most of the articles on repeated sequences feature the Template:Repeated sequence, however this does not. Does anyone have a reason why there isn't this template within the article? Ilikelifesciences (talk) 08:29, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

This is not right[edit]

Re This means that not all ERVs may have originated as an insertion by a retrovirus but that some may have been the source for the genetic information in the retroviruses they resemble Researchers have suggested that retroviruses evolved from a type of transposable gene called a retrotransposon, which includes ERVs; these genes can mutate .and instead of moving to another location in the genome they can become exogenous or pathogenic.

This is like the south african pseudoscience that said hiv was preexisting hervs that popped out of the genome and became infective

I am unable to find any references this idea

Rmwilliamsjr (talk) 15:58, 14 July 2016 (UTC)