Co-option of an endogenous retrovirus envelope for host defense in hominid ancestors

@inproceedings{BlancoMelo2017CooptionOA,
  title={Co-option of an endogenous retrovirus envelope for host defense in hominid ancestors},
  author={Daniel Blanco-Melo and Robert James Gifford and Paul D Bieniasz},
  booktitle={eLife},
  year={2017}
}
Endogenous retroviral sequences provide a molecular fossil record of ancient infections whose analysis might illuminate mechanisms of viral extinction. A close relative of gammaretroviruses, HERV-T, circulated in primates for ~25 million years (MY) before apparent extinction within the past ~8 MY. Construction of a near-complete catalog of HERV-T fossils in primate genomes allowed us to estimate a ~32 MY old ancestral sequence and reconstruct a functional envelope protein (ancHTenv) that could… CONTINUE READING