Identification and characterization of novel human endogenous retroviral sequences prefentially expressed in undifferentiated embryonal carcinoma cells

Girolama La Mantia, Domenico Maglione, Gina Pengue, Antonio Di Cristofano, Antonio Simeone, Luisa Lanfrancone, Luigi Lania

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A novel endogenous retroviral sequence (ERV-9) has been isolated from a human embryonal carcinoma cDNA library by hybridization to a probe containing a recently described human repetitive element. DNA sequence analysis of the 4kb cDNA insert (pHE.1) revealed the presence of ORFs potentially coding for putative retrovirus-related gag, pol and env proteins. Northern blot and RNase protection experiments showed that RNA homologous to the pHE.1 insert is detected only in embryonal carcinoma cells as a 8 kb mRNA, and its expression is negatively regulated during retinoic acid induced differentiation of the human teratocarcinoma cell line NT2/D1. Using a pol specific probe we have isolated a genomic locus containing the ERV-9 sequences. Characterization by restriction enzyme analysis and DNA sequencing allowed us to define LTR-like sequences, that are composed by a complex array of subrepetitive elements. In addition we show that ERV-9 LTR sequences are capable to drive expression of linked CAT gene in a cell specific manner as LTR promoter activity has been detected only in NT2/D1 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1520
Number of pages8
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 11 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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