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Elevated levels of the human endogenous retrovirus ERV3 in human sebaceous glands
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology.
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1996 (English)In: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, ISSN 0022-202X, E-ISSN 1523-1747, Vol. 106, no 1, 125-128 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

ERV3 (HERV-R) is a complete human endogenous retrovirus located on the long arm of chromosome 7. Long terminal repeat-envelope (env) gene spliced mRNAs of 9 and 3.5 kb are widely expressed in human tissues and cells, but gag-pol mRNAs have not been found. Furthermore, the env gp70 gene contains an open reading frame throughout its length. The highest expression of ERV3 mRNA detected so far is in placenta and the lowest in choriocarcinoma cell lines. We have previously shown that the human monoblastic cell line U-937 and some normal and neoplastic tissues also express high levels of ERV3 env message by Northern blot analysis; however, this method does not distinguish between mRNA expression in different cell types in tissues. In this report, we have studied the ERV3 mRNA expression in specific cell types of human skin by in situ hybridization. We found high levels expression of ERV3 env mRNA in human sebaceous glands in normal skin and dermoid cysts of the ovary. In all glands, the expression is maximal in the periphery of the lobule and ceases towards the center in the region of characteristic holocrine secretion. Since it is known that the regulation of sebaceous glands is primarily via steroid hormones, particularly androgens, it is possible that expression of ERV3 is hormone dependent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1996. Vol. 106, no 1, 125-128 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-89897DOI: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12329612PubMedID: 8592062OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-89897DiVA: diva2:161740
Available from: 2002-05-10 Created: 2002-05-10 Last updated: 2013-05-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Studies on Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) with Special Focus on ERV3
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studies on Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) with Special Focus on ERV3
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) represent approximately 7% of the human genome. This investigation was focused on one particular HERV, ERV3, with the main purpose of characterising its gene expression patterns and genomic distribution of ERV3-like sequences. Furthermore, this careful expression study should provide insights into the biological role of HERVs. The impact of HERVs in health and disease is not yet clarified. ERV3 is expressed as three envelope (env) transcripts, of which two also contain a cellular gene, H-plk (human proviral linked Krüppel). ERV3 env expression was mainly investigated at the RNA level. The gene expression of two other HERVs, HERV-K and HERV-E was analysed and compared with ERV3 activity.

Real-time PCRs were developed and in combination with in situ hybridisation, it was found that ERV3 is expressed in a tissue- and cell-specific way. High levels of ERV3 mRNA (up to six times over Histone3.3) were demonstrated in placenta, sebaceous glands, foetal and adult adrenal glands, brown adipose tissue, corpus luteum, pituitary gland, thymus and testis. In monocytic cells including both normal monocytes and malignant U-937 cells, elevated mRNA levels were observed after retinoic acid (RA)-induced differentiation. ERV3-encoded Env protein was detected in selected cases, one following RA-treatment. In addition, several new ERV3-like sequences were discovered in the human genome.

ERV3 was found to have conserved open reading frames in contrast to other ERV3-like sequences in the human genome. This suggests that ERV3 may be involved in important cellular processes such as differentiation, cell fusion, immunomodulation and protection against infectious retroviruses. The developed techniques and obtained results will allow further studies of HERV expression to better correlate HERV activity to both normal development and disease.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2002. 61 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 0282-7476 ; 1165
Genetics, human endogenous retroviruses, HERV, ERV3, expression, in situ hybridisation, real-time PCR, U-937, retinoic acid., Genetik
National Category
Medical Genetics
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-2097 (URN)91-554-5342-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2002-06-01, Rudbecksalen, Uppsala, 09:15
Available from: 2002-05-10 Created: 2002-05-10Bibliographically approved

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