Caister Academic Press

Non-primate Mammalian and Fish Retroviruses

Maribeth V. Eiden, Kathryn Radke, Joel Rovnak and Sandra L. Quackenbush
from: Retroviruses: Molecular Biology, Genomics and Pathogenesis (Edited by: Reinhard Kurth and Norbert Bannert). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


The pioneering phase of the study of retroviruses resulted in the identification of viruses associated with diseases in chickens, mice and cats. Retroviruses have since been isolated from many vertebrate species, and classified into seven genera that can be grouped into two general categories. Alpharetroviruses, betaretroviruses and gammaretroviruses are genetically simple, encoding only nucleoprotein, matrix, capsid, reverse transcriptase, integrase, protease and envelope proteins. Deltaretroviruses, epsilonretroviruses, lentiviruses and spumaviruses are considered complex because they encode in addition to the proteins listed above, a number of ancillary proteins that often play an important role in gene regulation. In this chapter we review recent findings of representative simple mammalian gammaretroviruses and the complex piscine epsilonretroviruses and bovine leukemia virus with the intent of illustrating how these viruses have shed light on the mechanisms of viral function, evolution and pathogenesis within the animal kingdom that hosts them read more ...
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