Mobilization of an ERV9 Human Endogenous Retroviral Element during Primate Evolution

Antonio Di Cristofano, Maria Strazzullo, Tiziana Parisi, Girolama La Mantia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


ERV9 is a low repeated family of human endogenous retroviral elements, which has close to 50 members, in addition to at least 4000 solitary LTRs. Previous work has shown that randomly selected LTRs can promote transcription of reporter genes, raising the possibility that these sequences may affect the expression of adjacent cellular genes. We report here the structural organization in different primate species of a zinc-finger coding gene whose expression is driven in humans by a solitary ERV9-LTR promoter. Using a PCR strategy and library screening, we were able to trace the origin of the insertion event in the primate lineage and to evaluate the impact of this event on gene structure. Our findings indicate that the integration of the ERV9 element occurred after the split of orangutang from the great apes, but before the divergence of the gorilla lineage. These results suggest that ERV9 elements have been mobile within the primate lineages and may still be active in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71570
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 20 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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