HERV-M (human endogenous retrovirus M), related to the super family of HERV-K, has a methionine (M) tRNA primer-binding site, and is located within the periphilin gene on human chromosome 12q12. HERV-M has been integrated into the periphilin gene as the truncated form, 5′LTR-gag-pol-3′LTR. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) approaches were conducted to investigate its evolutionary origins. Interestingly, the insertion of retroelements in a common ancestor genome can make different transcript variants in different species. In the case of the periphilin gene, human (10 variants) and mouse (2 variants) lineages show different transcript variants. Insertion of HERV-M (variant 1-3) could affect the protein-coding region. Also, Alusq/x (variant 4-9) and L1ME4a (mammalian-wide subfamilies of LINE-1) (variant 10) in humans and SINE (short interspersed repetitive element) and RLTR15 (the mouse putative long terminal repeat) (variant 2) in mice could be driving forces in transcript diversification of the periphilin gene during mammalian evolution. The HERV-M derived transcripts (variant 1-3) were expressed in different human tissues, whereas they were not detected in crab-eating monkey and squirrel monkey tissues by RT-PCR amplification. Taken together, HERV-M seems to have been integrated into our common ancestor genome after the divergence of simians and prosimians, and then was actively expressed during hominoid evolution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology