Standard Article

Human Endogenous Retroviruses; Evolutionary Dynamics, Chromosomal Location and Host Benefit

  1. Paul Nelson,
  2. Graham Freimanis,
  3. Denise Roden

Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020831

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Nelson, P., Freimanis, G. and Roden, D. 2008. Human Endogenous Retroviruses; Evolutionary Dynamics, Chromosomal Location and Host Benefit. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

Abstract

Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are remnants of past retroviral infection that have been integrated within the human genome. Our glimpse of these viruses perhaps highlights their evolutionary dynamics over time. Survival of both virus and host are paramount and it is plausible that some benefit has arisen whereby the human host has gained some selective advantage. In particular, some retroviral elements may have regulatory or biological functions. Of course harbouring viruses could also lead to harm if activated by environmental agents.

Keywords:

  • endogenous retrovirus;
  • genome;
  • evolutionary dynamics;
  • chromosomes;
  • host benefit