Analysis of the molecular and regulatory properties of active porcine endogenous retrovirus gamma-1 long terminal repeats in kidney tissues of the NIH-Miniature pig
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- Park, SJ., Huh, JW., Kim, DS. et al. Mol Cells (2010) 30: 319. doi:10.1007/s10059-010-0121-0
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The pig genome contains the gamma1 family of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs), which are a major obstacle to the development of successful xenotransplantation from pig to human. Long terminal repeats (LTRs) found in PERVs are known to be essential elements for the control of the transcriptional activity of single virus by different transcription factors (TFs). To identify transcribed PERV LTR elements, RT-PCR and DNA sequencing analyses were performed. Twenty-nine actively transcribed LTR elements were identified in the kidney tissues of the NIH-Miniature pig. These elements were divided into two major groups (I and II), and four minor groups (I-1, I-2, I-3, and II-1), by the presence of insertion and deletion (INDEL) sequences. Group I elements showed strong transcriptional activity compared to group II elements. Four different LTR elements (PL1, PL2, PL3, and PL4) as representative of the groups were analyzed by using a transient transfection assay. The regulation of their promoter activity was investigated by treatment with M.SssI (CpG DNA methyltransferase) and garcinol (histone acetyltransferase inhibitor). The transcriptional activity of PERV LTR elements was significantly reduced by treatment with M.SssI. These data indicate that transcribed PERV LTR elements harbor sufficient promoter activity to regulate the transcription of a single virus, and the transcriptional activity of PERV LTRs may be controlled by DNA methylation events.