An ancient family of human endogenous retroviruses encodes a functional homolog of the HIV-1 Rev protein.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) family of endogenous retroviruses consists of approximately 50 proviral copies per haploid human genome. Herein, the HERV-Ks are shown to encode a sequence-specific nuclear RNA export factor, termed K-Rev, that is functionally analogous to the HIV-1 Rev protein. Like HIV-1 Rev, K-Rev binds to both the Crm1 nuclear export factor and to a cis-acting viral RNA target to activate nuclear export of unspliced RNAs. Surprisingly, this HERV-K RNA sequence, which is encoded within the HERV-K long terminal repeat, is also recognized by HIV-1 Rev. These data provide surprising evidence for an evolutionary link between HIV-1 and a group of endogenous retroviruses that first entered the human genome approximately 30 million years ago.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yang, J; Bogerd, HP; Peng, S; Wiegand, H; Truant, R; Cullen, BR

Published Date

  • November 9, 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 96 / 23

Start / End Page

  • 13404 - 13408

PubMed ID

  • 10557333

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC23960

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.96.23.13404


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States