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Identification of diverse full-length endogenous betaretroviruses in megabats and microbats

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Hayward, J. A., Tachedjian, M., Cui, J., Field, H., Holmes, E. C., Wang, L. F. and Tachedjian, G. (2013) Identification of diverse full-length endogenous betaretroviruses in megabats and microbats. Retrovirology, 10 (1). ISSN 17424690 (ISSN)

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1742-4690-10-35

Publisher URL: http://www.retrovirology.com/content/10/1/35


Background: Betaretroviruses infect a wide range of species including primates, rodents, ruminants, and marsupials. They exist in both endogenous and exogenous forms and are implicated in animal diseases such as lung cancer in sheep, and in human disease, with members of the human endogenous retrovirus-K (HERV-K) group of endogenous betaretroviruses (βERVs) associated with human cancers and autoimmune diseases. To improve our understanding of betaretroviruses in an evolutionarily distinct host species, we characterized βERVs present in the genomes and transcriptomes of mega- and microbats, which are an important reservoir of emerging viruses.Results: A diverse range of full-length βERVs were discovered in mega- and microbat genomes and transcriptomes including the first identified intact endogenous retrovirus in a bat. Our analysis revealed that the genus Betaretrovirus can be divided into eight distinct sub-groups with evidence of cross-species transmission. Betaretroviruses are revealed to be a complex retrovirus group, within which one sub-group has evolved from complex to simple genomic organization through the acquisition of an env gene from the genus Gammaretrovirus. Molecular dating suggests that bats have contended with betaretroviral infections for over 30 million years.Conclusions: Our study reveals that a diverse range of betaretroviruses have circulated in bats for most of their evolutionary history, and cluster with extant betaretroviruses of divergent mammalian lineages suggesting that their distribution may be largely unrestricted by host species barriers. The presence of βERVs with the ability to transcribe active viral elements in a major animal reservoir for viral pathogens has potential implications for public health. © 2013 Hayward et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:Bats Betaretrovirus Endogenous Evolution Myotis Pteropus Retrovirus Rhinolophus Gag protein lysine transcriptome transfer RNA article Betaretrovirus infection cladistics controlled study endogenous retrovirus envelope gene genetic variability group specific antigen gene host range long terminal repeat microbial diversity molecular clock molecular evolution nonhuman nucleotide sequence open reading frame phylogenetic tree sequence analysis structural gene virus genome virus identification virus transmission Animalia Gammaretrovirus Human endogenous retrovirus K Mammalia Metatheria Ovis aries Primates Rodentia
Subjects:Animal culture
Science > Biology > Evolution
Live Archive:29 Oct 2013 02:19
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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