Simian Foamy Virus type 1 (SFV-1) is a foamy retrovirus that belongs to the genus Spumaretrovirus (for a review see Meiering and Linial 2001). SFV-1 has orthologues in other mammals (Flügel 1991). Several studies have reported persistent SFV-1 infections in human beings exposed to apes. These zoonosis cases suggest that ape retroviruses can be transmitted to humans more frequently that originally thought (Switzer et al. 2004 and references therein). SFV-1, however, does not show in vitro cytopathology and apparent pathogenic effects have not been reported in infected individuals (Mergia et al. 1997).

The genomic structure of SFV-1 is 13 Kb in size including LTRs of 1.6 Kb. 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 genes bel1 and bel2, and a Polypurine Tract (PPT) adjacent to the 3´LTR (Kupiec et al. 1991; Flügel 1991). As described by Muranyi and Flügel (1991) in human Spumaretrovirus, a chimeric protein termed Bet (or bel3) has also been observed in SFV-1; it derives from splicing of the N-terminal amino acids of bel1 in frame with the bulk of the bel2.


SFV-1 final.png

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: X54482
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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