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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 9173-9183; doi:10.3390/ijms15069173

Expression of Human Endogenous Retrovirus env Genes in the Blood of Breast Cancer Patients

Department of Surgery, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan 602-072, Korea
Department of Parasitology and Genetics, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan 602-072, Korea
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
Department of Biochemistry, College of Oriental Medicine, Dongeui University, Busan 614-052, Korea
Department of Urology, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Korea
Department of Biological Science, Dong-A University, Busan 604-714, Korea
Dongnam Institute of Radiological & Medicine Sciences, Busan 619-953, Korea
Institute for Medical Science, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan 602-072, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 13 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [480 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]   |  


Human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) env proteins have been recently reported to be significantly up-regulated in certain cancers. Specifically, mRNA and protein levels of HERV-K (HML-2) are up-regulated in the blood plasma or serum of breast cancer patients. Here, we collected blood samples of 49 breast cancer patients and analyzed mRNA expressions of various HERVs env genes including HERV-R, HERV-H, HERV-K, and HERV-P by real-time PCR. The expression of env genes were significantly increased in the blood of primary breast cancer patients but were decreased in patients undergoing chemotherapy to a similar level with benign patients. When we compared the group currently undergoing chemotherapy and those patients undergoing chemotherapy simultaneously with radiotherapy, HERVs env genes were reduced more in the chemotherapy only group, suggesting that chemotherapy is more effective in reducing HERV env gene expression than is radiotherapy. Among chemotherapy groups, HERV env gene expression was the lowest in the taxotere- or taxol-treated group, suggesting that taxotere and taxol can reduce HERVs env expression. These data suggest the potential to use HERVs env genes as a diagnosis marker for primary breast cancer, and further studies are needed to identify the mechanism and physiological significance of the reduction of HERV env gene expression during chemotherapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: HERV; env; mRNA; realtime PCR; blood; gene expression HERV; env; mRNA; realtime PCR; blood; gene expression

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rhyu, D.-W.; Kang, Y.-J.; Ock, M.-S.; Eo, J.-W.; Choi, Y.-H.; Kim, W.-J.; Leem, S.-H.; Yi, J.-M.; Kim, H.-S.; Cha, H.-J. Expression of Human Endogenous Retrovirus env Genes in the Blood of Breast Cancer Patients. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 9173-9183.

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