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J Gen Virol. 2001 Sep;82(Pt 9):2205-13.

A PCR primer system for detecting oncoretroviruses based on conserved DNA sequence motifs of animal retroviruses and its application to human leukaemias and lymphomas.

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Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Medizinische Klinik III, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200 Berlin, Germany.


Many C- and D-type retroviruses are known to cause a broad spectrum of malignant diseases in animals. Certain genome regions of these animal retroviruses are highly conserved between different animal species. It should be possible to detect new members of the retrovirus family with consensus PCR primers derived from these conserved sequence motifs. The consensus PCR primers developed in this study are generic enough to detect nearly all known oncogenic mammalian and avian exogenous C- and D-type retroviruses but do not amplify human endogenous retroviral sequences. In contrast to previous investigations, the present study involved highly stringent PCR conditions and truly generic PCR primers. Forty-four samples from patients with various immunophenotyped malignant diseases (acute and chronic T-/B-cell lymphocytic leukaemias, acute myeloid leukaemias, T-/B-cell lymphomas, chronic myeloproliferative disorders) and three cell lines (Hodgkin's lymphoma, Burkitt's lymphoma) have thus far been investigated using these PCR primers. The fact that no retroviruses have been found argues against an involvement of known animal oncoretroviruses or related hitherto undetected human retroviruses in the aetiopathogenesis of these diseases. The retrovirus detection system developed here may be used to confirm suspected retroviral involvement in other (malignant or nonmalignant) human diseases as well as to identify new animal retroviruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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