• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jvirolPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJV ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Virol. Nov 1996; 70(11): 8241–8246.
PMCID: PMC190910

Characterization of a novel murine leukemia virus-related subgroup within mammals.


The murine leukemia virus (MuLV)-related retroviruses are one of seven genera which together constitute the family Retroviridae. They are widespread as both endogenous and exogenous agents within vertebrates and have been associated with a variety of malignancies and other disorders. We isolated and characterized 12 endogenous representatives of this genus from a number of mammalian hosts. Subsequent sequence analysis revealed that the isolated viruses cluster into two clearly distinct groups. All of the exogenous MuLV-related retroviruses which have been isolated to date, as well as several endogenous examples, fall into the first group, whereas the second group is represented solely by endogenous representatives, including human endogenous retrovirus type E (HERV.E). The two groups are widespread within mammals, with both often present within one animal species. Despite this, there is no evidence to date that recombination between members of the different groups has occurred. Genetic distances and several other properties of the HERV.E genome suggest that if exogenous members of this subgroup exist, they are likely to have biological properties different from those of the other exogenous viruses of this genus. Several of these viruses are known to have been integrated within their hosts' genomes for a long period of time, and a most recent divergence date for the MuLV and HERV.E subgroups can thus be proposed. This date, approximately 30 million years ago, is the most recent date possible, and it is probable that the actual period of time since their divergence is significantly longer.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (223K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Delassus S, Sonigo P, Wain-Hobson S. Genetic organization of gibbon ape leukemia virus. Virology. 1989 Nov;173(1):205–213. [PubMed]
  • Donahue PR, Hoover EA, Beltz GA, Riedel N, Hirsch VM, Overbaugh J, Mullins JI. Strong sequence conservation among horizontally transmissible, minimally pathogenic feline leukemia viruses. J Virol. 1988 Mar;62(3):722–731. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Doolittle RF, Feng DF, Johnson MS, McClure MA. Origins and evolutionary relationships of retroviruses. Q Rev Biol. 1989 Mar;64(1):1–30. [PubMed]
  • Gardner MB, Henderson BE, Officer JE, Rongey RW, Parker JC, Oliver C, Estes JD, Huebner RJ. A spontaneous lower motor neuron disease apparently caused by indigenous type-C RNA virus in wild mice. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1973 Oct;51(4):1243–1254. [PubMed]
  • GROSS L. "Spontaneous" leukemia developing in C3H mice following inoculation in infancy, with AK-leukemic extracts, or AK-embrvos. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1951 Jan;76(1):27–32. [PubMed]
  • Hardy WD, Jr, Geering G, Old LJ, DE Harven E, Brody RS, McDonough S. Feline leukemia virus: occurrence of viral antigen in the tissues of cats with lymphosarcoma and other diseases. Science. 1969 Nov 21;166(3908):1019–1021. [PubMed]
  • La Mantia G, Maglione D, Pengue G, Di Cristofano A, Simeone A, Lanfrancone L, Lania L. Identification and characterization of novel human endogenous retroviral sequences prefentially expressed in undifferentiated embryonal carcinoma cells. Nucleic Acids Res. 1991 Apr 11;19(7):1513–1520. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Levy JA. Xenotropic viruses: murine leukemia viruses associated with NIH Swiss, NZB, and other mouse strains. Science. 1973 Dec 14;182(4117):1151–1153. [PubMed]
  • Levy LS, Lobelle-Rich PA, Elder JH, Payne S, Montelaro RC. An unusual retrovirus-like sequence identified in human DNA. J Gen Virol. 1990 Jul;71(Pt 7):1613–1618. [PubMed]
  • Lunger PD, Hardy WD, Jr, Clark HF. C-type virus particles in a reptilian tumor. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1974 Apr;52(4):1231–1235. [PubMed]
  • Maeda N, Kim HS. Three independent insertions of retrovirus-like sequences in the haptoglobin gene cluster of primates. Genomics. 1990 Dec;8(4):671–683. [PubMed]
  • Martin RD. Primate origins: plugging the gaps. Nature. 1993 May 20;363(6426):223–234. [PubMed]
  • Purvis A. A composite estimate of primate phylogeny. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1995 Jun 29;348(1326):405–421. [PubMed]
  • Repaske R, O'Neill RR, Steele PE, Martin MA. Characterization and partial nucleotide sequence of endogenous type C retrovirus segments in human chromosomal DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Feb;80(3):678–682. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Repaske R, Steele PE, O'Neill RR, Rabson AB, Martin MA. Nucleotide sequence of a full-length human endogenous retroviral segment. J Virol. 1985 Jun;54(3):764–772. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schmidt M, Wirth T, Kröger B, Horak I. Structure and genomic organization of a new family of murine retrovirus-related DNA sequences (MuRRS). Nucleic Acids Res. 1985 May 24;13(10):3461–3470. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shih A, Coutavas EE, Rush MG. Evolutionary implications of primate endogenous retroviruses. Virology. 1991 Jun;182(2):495–502. [PubMed]
  • Shinnick TM, Lerner RA, Sutcliffe JG. Nucleotide sequence of Moloney murine leukaemia virus. Nature. 1981 Oct 15;293(5833):543–548. [PubMed]
  • Silver J, Rabson A, Bryan T, Willey R, Martin MA. Human retroviral sequences on the Y chromosome. Mol Cell Biol. 1987 Apr;7(4):1559–1562. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Steele PE, Rabson AB, Bryan T, Martin MA. Distinctive termini characterize two families of human endogenous retroviral sequences. Science. 1984 Aug 31;225(4665):943–947. [PubMed]
  • Tristem M. Amplification of divergent retroelements by PCR. Biotechniques. 1996 Apr;20(4):608–612. [PubMed]
  • Wilhelmsen KC, Eggleton K, Temin HM. Nucleic acid sequences of the oncogene v-rel in reticuloendotheliosis virus strain T and its cellular homolog, the proto-oncogene c-rel. J Virol. 1984 Oct;52(1):172–182. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Witter RL, Lee LF, Bacon LD, Smith EJ. Depression of vaccinal immunity to Marek's disease by infection with reticuloendotheliosis virus. Infect Immun. 1979 Oct;26(1):90–98. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Xiong Y, Eickbush TH. Origin and evolution of retroelements based upon their reverse transcriptase sequences. EMBO J. 1990 Oct;9(10):3353–3362. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Virology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...