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Genomics. 1999 Oct 15;61(2):133-44.

Molecular characterization of a MSRV-like sequence identified by RDA from monozygotic twin pairs discordant for schizophrenia.

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Department of Zoology, and Division of Medical Genetics, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5B7, Canada.


Retroviral-related amplicons were used in modified RDA to identify four sequences from affected members of three pairs of monozygotic twins discordant for schizophrenia. One sequence (schizophrenia associated retrovirus, SZRV-1, GenBank Accession No. AF135487) is characterized here. It is similar to two known sequences of retroviral origin: multiple sclerosis-associated retrovirus, MSRV (GenBank Accession No. AF009668), and ERV-9 (GenBank Accession No. S77575). It is present in multiple copies in the human genome and has been localized to six different chromosomal sites. A zooblot shows that this multicopy sequence is predominant in the primate lineage and present in rhesus monkeys and humans. SZRV-1 is expressed as a 9-kb RNA band in the placenta. This could offer support to the hypothesis that retroviral sequences transposing during fetal growth may alter neurodevelopmental genes and cause diseases, although its direct involvement in the causation of schizophrenia remains to be established.

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