Endogenous Retroviruses in Trophoblast Differentiation and Placental Development

Authors

  • Sarah G. Black,

    1. Center for Animal Biotechnology and Genomics, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
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  • Fredrick Arnaud,

    1. Institute of Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
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    • Present address: UMR754 INRA UCBL ENVL EPHE, 50 Avenue Tony Garnier, F-69366 Lyon Cedex 7, France.

  • Massimo Palmarini,

    1. Institute of Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
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  • Thomas E. Spencer

    1. Center for Animal Biotechnology and Genomics, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
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Thomas E. Spencer, Department of Animal Science, 442 Kleberg Center, 2471 TAMU, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2471, USA.
E-mail: tspencer@tamu.edu

Abstract

Citation Black SG, Arnaud F, Palmarini M, Spencer TE. Endogenous retroviruses in trophoblast differentiation and placental development. Am J Reprod Immunol 2010

Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are present in the genome of all vertebrates and originated from infections of the germline of the host by exogenous retroviruses. ERVs have coevolved with their hosts for millions of years and are recognized to contribute to genome plasticity, protect the host against infection of related pathogenic and exogenous retroviruses, and play a vital role in development of the placenta. Consequently, some ERVs have been positively selected and maintained in the host genome throughout evolution. This review will focus on the critical role of ERVs in development of the mammalian placenta and specifically highlight the biological role of sheep JSRV-related endogenous betaretroviruses in conceptus (embryo and associated extraembryonic membranes) development.

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