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Trends Microbiol. 1999 Sep;7(9):350-6.

The pathogenic potential of endogenous retroviruses: facts and fantasies.

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  • Paul Ehrlich Institut, Paul Ehrlich Str. 51-59, D-63225 Langen, Germany. loero@pei.de


Endogenous retroviruses are descendants of viruses that became cellular genes by integration into their host's genome. They still contribute to pathogenicity as a partner in recombination events, by de novo insertion after mobilization followed by activation of downstream proto-oncogenes, or by gene disruption. Re-expression of viral proteins accompanied by loss of immune tolerance could induce immune disturbances.

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