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Pathogens 2013, 2(3), 533-543; doi:10.3390/pathogens2030533

Involvement of Endogenous Retroviruses in Prion Diseases

1 Ilsong Institute of Life Science, Hallym University, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do 431-060, Republic of Korea 2 Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do 200-702, Republic of Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2013 / Revised: 25 July 2013 / Accepted: 9 August 2013 / Published: 12 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prions)
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For millions of years, vertebrates have been continuously exposed to infection by retroviruses. Ancient retroviral infection of germline cells resulted in the formation and accumulation of inherited retrovirus sequences in host genomes. These inherited retroviruses are referred to as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), and recent estimates have revealed that a significant portion of animal genomes is made up of ERVs. Although various host factors have suppressed ERV activation, both positive and negative functions have been reported for some ERVs in normal and abnormal physiological conditions, such as in disease states. Similar to other complex diseases, ERV activation has been observed in prion diseases, and this review will discuss the potential involvement of ERVs in prion diseases.
Keywords: prion diseases; Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD); endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) prion diseases; Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD); endogenous retroviruses (ERVs)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Lee, Y.-J.; Jeong, B.-H.; Choi, E.-K.; Kim, Y.-S. Involvement of Endogenous Retroviruses in Prion Diseases. Pathogens 2013, 2, 533-543.

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