Human Foamy Virus (HFV) is a foamy retrovirus originally isolated from a nasopharyngeal carcinoma patient (Achong et al. 1971). Within the Retroviridae family, HFV belongs to the genus Spumaretrovirus (for a review see Meiering and Linial 2001). HFV has been isolated from patients with various diseases such as toxic encephalopathy (Cameron, Mirchall and Moses 1978), chronic myeloid leukemia (Young, Samuels and Clarke 1973), thyroiditis (Stancek et al. 1975; Werner and Gelderblom 1979; Wick et al. 1992) and Grave's disease (Ciampolillo et al. 1989). The pathology of HFV is however, not well known.

The genomic structure of HFV is 13.2 Kb in size including LTRs of 1.8Kb. The internal region of this retrovirus displays a Primer Binding Site (PBS) complementary to a tRNALys1-2, Open Reading Frames (ORFs) for gag, pol and env genes characteristic of retroviruses, accessory bel1 and bel2 genes, and a Polypurine Tract (PPT) adjacent to the 3´LTR (Flügel 1991; Kogel, Aboud and Flügel 1995). As described by Muranyi and Flügel (1991) in human Spumaretrovirus, a chimeric protein termed Bet (or bel3) has also been observed in HFV; it derives from splicing of the N-terminal amino acids of bel1 in frame with the bulk of the bel2.



Figure not to scale. If present, long terminal repeats (LTRs) have been highlighted in blue. Amino acid motifs noted with lines indicate the conserved residues in each protein domain, abbreviations below mean:

MA=matrix PR=protease DU or DUT=dUTPase TM=transmembrane TAV or IBMP=transactivator/viroplasmin or inclusion body matrix protein
CA=capsid RT=reverse transcriptase INT=Integrase CHR=chromodomain
NC=nucleocapsid RH=RNaseH SU=surface MOV=movement protein
PPT=polypurine tract PBS=primer binding site ATF=aphid transmission factor VAP=virion associated protein

Related literature

Genbank accession: Y07725
Clade: Undetermined
Cluster or genus: Spumaretrovirus
Branch or class: Class 3
Family: Retroviridae
System: LTR retroelements
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Welcome to the Gypsy Database (GyDB) an open editable database about the evolutionary relationship of viruses, mobile genetic elements (MGEs) and the genomic repeats where we invite all authors to contribute with their knowledge to improve and expand the topics.
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Llorens, C., Futami, R., Covelli, L., Dominguez-Escriba, L., Viu, J.M., Tamarit, D., Aguilar-Rodriguez, J. Vicente-Ripolles, M., Fuster, G., Bernet, G.P., Maumus, F., Munoz-Pomer, A., Sempere, J.M., LaTorre, A., Moya, A. (2011) The Gypsy Database (GyDB) of Mobile Genetic Elements: Release 2.0 Nucleic Acids Research (NARESE) 39 (suppl 1): D70-D74 doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq1061

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