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Mol Cell Biol. 1988 Aug;8(8):2989-98.

Complete nucleotide sequence of a mouse VL30 retro-element.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.


The complete nucleotide sequence of a mouse retro-element is presented. The cloned element is composed of 4,834 base pairs (bp) with long terminal repeats of 568 bp separated by an internal region of 3,698 bp. The element did not appear to have any open reading frames that would be capable of encoding the functional proteins that are normally produced by retro-elements. However, some regions of the genome showed some homology to retroviral gag and pol open reading frames. There was no region in VL30 corresponding to a retroviral env gene. This implies that VL30 is related to retrotransposons rather than to retroviruses. The sequence also contained regions that were homologous to known reverse transcriptase priming sites and viral packaging sites. These observations, combined with the known transcriptional capacity of the VL30 promoter, suggest that VL30 relies on protein functions of other retro-elements, such as murine leukemia virus, while maintaining highly conserved cis-active promoter, packaging, and priming sites necessary for its replication and cell-to-cell transmission.

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