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Review
, 33 (4), 397-403

[Endogenous Retroviral Sequences in the Human Genome Can Play a Physiological or Pathological Role]

[Article in French]
Affiliations
Review

[Endogenous Retroviral Sequences in the Human Genome Can Play a Physiological or Pathological Role]

[Article in French]
Julie Medina et al. Med Sci (Paris).

Abstract

Human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) represent a large part of our genome and the few elements that have retained a potential of expression still remain "dormant" in physiological conditions. In some instances, they can be awakened by environmental factors activating their expression. The best studied conditions of HERV activation are infections caused by microorganisms such as viruses of the Herpesvirus family. This activation can thus lead to the expression of pathogenic proteins such as envelope proteins belonging to the HERV-W and HERV-K families, respectively involved in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Endogenous retroviral proteins can also acquire a physiological function beneficial for humans. This is the case of Syncytin-1 from the HERV-W family, that is involved in placenta formation.

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