A variety of distinct HERV families have been identified in the human genome, which are remnants of exogenous retroviruses that entered the germ line millions of years ago (Lavie et al. 2004), thus in the human genome was recently estimated to contain 30 to 50 distinct HERV families (Gifford and Tristem 2003). In particular, the human endogenous retrovirus K50D (K-HERV) is an element originally isolated from human species (Lavie et al. 2004) and counterpart of HERV-K10. These two belong to genus Betaretrovirus within Retroviridae family (International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses -ICTV- Fauquet et al. 2005) and according to Llorens et al. 2009 is located within Class 2 of the Retroviridae family.

The genome ov K-HERV is 9.4 Kb in size including LTRs of approximately 960 bp that flank an internal coding region (Lavie et al. 2004). According to (Lavie et al. 2004), the internal region of this retrovirus contains the typical Primer Binding Site (PBS) and polypurine Tract (PPT) characteristic of retroviruses and five Open Reading Frames (ORFs): one coding for gag, second for a protein product containing the dUTP/PR domains typical of betaretroviruses, third codes for a pol polyprotein including the RT-RNaseH-INT domains, fourth codes for env, and fifth for the ORFX that overlaps pol (as typically observed in betaretroviruses). As observed in other betaretroviruses, ORFX shows multiple stops codons but present a high degree of conservation.



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: DQ112152
Clade: Undetermined
Cluster or genus: Betaretrovirus
Branch or class: Class 2
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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