Epsilon-like endogenous retroviruses conserved across primates

Recent Publication by PhD Student Katy Brown who has worked with Rachael Tarlinton in the department has show the widespread evidence of epsilon-like endogenous retroviruses in primate genomes including Humans. Katy has now started as a CGAT fellow and we wish her best of luck.
Paper can be found here
Epsilonretroviruses are a group of retroviruses which cause several important diseases in fish. Retroviruses have the ability to become a permanent part of the DNA of their host by entering the germline as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), where they lose their infectivity over time but can be recognised as retroviruses for millions of years. Very few mammals are known to have epsilon-like ERVs, however, we have identified over 800 fragments of endogenous epsilon-like ERVs in the genomes of all major groups of primates, including humans. These viruses seem to have circulated and infected primate ancestors 42 to 65 million years ago. We are now interested in how these viruses have evolved and whether they have the potential to infect modern humans or other primates.


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