Endogenous Retroviral Sequences; their Evolutionary Contribution to the Human Genome
Published Online: 14 MAR 2008
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Mayer, J. 2008. Endogenous Retroviral Sequences; their Evolutionary Contribution to the Human Genome. eLS.
- Published Online: 14 MAR 2008
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Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) comprise about 8% of the human genome. They stem from germ cell invasions of exogenous retroviruses in the evolutionary past. ERV transcripts are found in every human tissue and their expression patterns seem to be regulated by complex mechanisms. By introducing numerous regulatory elements into the genome ERVs profoundly influenced cellular genes regarding gene structure and gene expression patterns. While most ERV sequences in the human genome are coding-defective, some ERVs still encode proteins that appear to have become essential human genes or that appear to be involved in human diseases.
- endogenous retrovirus;
- repetitive sequence;
- gene structure;
- genome evolution