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Acta Neurol Scand. 2000 Apr;101(4):229-38.

Molecular characterization of HERV-H variants associated with multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


Our objective was to characterize retroviral sequences by RT-PCR with gag and env primers on RNA from RT-positive retroviral particles produced by multiple sclerosis (MS) derived B-lymphoblastoid cell lines. Sequence variants with high homology to the potentially functional subgroup RGH of the human endogenous retrovirus RTVL-H/HERV-H family were found. The same sequences were also specifically found in the particulate fraction of a series of MS patient plasma samples and were absent in controls. South-Western blots demonstrate the presence of a nucleic acid binding protein, corresponding in size and function to the nucleocapsid protein, Gag NC, of other retroviruses. We also present indications for transmission of the retrovirus to PHA-stimulated lymphocytes from healthy individuals.

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