Article

Immunologic Research

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 27-39

Biology and pathophysiology of the new human retrovirus XMRV and its association with human disease

  • Alice RusmevichientongAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Molecular Biology InstituteUCLA AIDS Institute, UCLA School of Medicine
  • , Samson A. ChowAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Molecular Biology InstituteUCLA AIDS Institute, UCLA School of Medicine Email author 

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Abstract

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus–related virus (XMRV) is a new human retrovirus originally identified in prostate cancer patients with a deficiency in the antiviral enzyme RNase L. XMRV has been detected with varying frequencies in cases of prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), as well as in a small proportion of healthy individuals. An etiologic link between XMRV infection and human disease, however, has yet to be established. Here, we summarize existing knowledge regarding the characteristics of XMRV replication, association of XMRV with prostate cancer and CFS, and potential mechanisms of XMRV pathophysiology. We also highlight several areas, such as the establishment of standardized assays and the development of animal models, as future directions to advance our current understanding of XMRV and its relevance to human disease.

Keywords

XMRV Prostate cancer Chronic fatigue syndrome Viral pathophysiology