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Gene. 2000 Apr 18;247(1-2):265-77.

Differences in HERV-K LTR insertions in orthologous loci of humans and great apes.

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1
Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 16/10 Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, Russia. yuri@humgen.siobc.ras.ru

Abstract

The classification of the long terminal repeats (LTRs) of the human endogenous retrovirus HERV-K (HML-2) family was refined according to diagnostic differences between the LTR sequences. The mutation rate was estimated to be approximately equal for LTRs belonging to different families and branches of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs). An average mutation rate value was calculated based on differences between LTRs of the same HERV and was found to be 0.13% per million years (Myr). Using this value, the ages of different LTR groups belonging to the LTR HML-2 subfamily were found to vary from 3 to 50Myr. Orthologous potential LTR-containing loci from different primate species were PCR amplified using primers corresponding to the genomic sequences flanking LTR integration sites. This allowed us to calculate the phylogenetic times of LTR integrations in primate lineages in the course of the evolution and to demonstrate that they are in good agreement with the LTR ages calculated from the mutation rates. Human-specific integrations for some very young LTRs were demonstrated. The possibility of LTRs and HERVs involvement in the evolution of primates is discussed.

PMID:
10773466
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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