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Mol Cells. 2017 Oct;40(10):796-804. doi: 10.14348/molcells.2017.0141. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Identification and Expression Analyses of Equine Endogenous Retroviruses in Horses.

Gim JA1,2,3, Kim HS1,2.

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Department of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Korea.
Institute of Systems Biology, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Korea.
The Genomics Institute, Life Sciences Department, UNIST, Ulsan 44919, Korea.


Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) have been integrated into vertebrate genomes and have momentously affected host organisms. Horses (Equus caballus) have been domesticated and selected for elite racing ability over centuries. ERVs played an important role in the evolutionary diversification of the horse genome. In the present study, we identified six equine ERV families (EqERVs-E1, I1, M2, P1, S1, and Y4), their full-length viral open reading frames (ORFs), and elucidated their phylogenetic relationships. The divergence time of EqERV families assuming an evolutionary rate of 0.2%/Myr indicated that EqERV-S3 (75.4 million years ago; mya) on chromosome 10 is an old EqERV family and EqERV-P5 (1.2 Mya) on chromosome 12 is a young member. During the evolutionary diversification of horses, the EqERV-I family diverged 1.7 Mya to 38.7 Mya. Reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) amplification of EqERV pol genes showed greater expression in the cerebellum of the Jeju horse than the Thoroughbred horse. These results could contribute further dynamic studies for horse genome in relation to EqERV gene function.


EqERV; Jeju horse; pol gene; quantitative real-time RT-PCR; thoroughbred horse

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