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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
Gene Review

env  -  env

Simian foamy virus

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Disease relevance of env


High impact information on env

  • The transcriptional transactivator (Tas) of simian foamy virus type 1 strongly augments gene expression directed by both the promoter in the viral long terminal repeat and the newly discovered internal promoter located within the env gene [6].
  • We report here that a second efficiently utilized start site of transcription is contained within a HSRV env DNA sequence upstream of the bel genes [7].
  • Whereas this process is best documented in the origin of the vertebrate retroviruses and their acquisition of an envelope (env) gene, similar independent events may have occurred in insects, nematodes, and plants [3].
  • These vector genomes have deletions in the gag, pol, env, and bel1-3 accessory genes, as well as the LTR U3 region, but retain an essential 2.5-kb cis-acting region [8].
  • Transient env expression revealed that the R572T mutant Env was normally expressed and modified by asparagine-linked oligosaccharide chains [9].

Biological context of env

  • Tas-responsive target elements,(TRE) LTR in the LTR and (TRE) IP in the env gene, are located 5' of the TATA box in both viral promoters and function as orientation- and position-independent enhancers [1].
  • Both SFV-3 and SFV-1 encode two open reading frames between env and the 3' LTR, whereas HFV encodes three open reading frames in this region [10].
  • Nucleotide and deduced amino acid alignments of SFV-3, SFV-1, and HFV revealed an unexpected homology pattern; highest homologies are observed in the pol and env genes but low homologies are noted in the gag genes and the additional open reading frames [10].
  • In summary, the genomes of simian and human foamy viruses direct viral transcription through both the promoter in the LTR and an internal promoter within the env gene, and each promoter contains unique enhancer-like elements regulated by the viral transactivator [11].
  • To identify cis-acting elements in the foamy virus (FV) RNA pregenome, we developed a transient-vector-production system based on cotransfection of indicator gene-bearing vector and gag-pol and env expression plasmids [12].

Anatomical context of env

  • We have demonstrated by using transient expression assays in several tissue culture cell lines and by analyzing viral transcripts in infected cells that SFV-1 from a rhesus macaque and SFV-3 from an African green monkey also encode an internal promoter in the env gene [11].
  • The correct expression of the HFV proteins was demonstrated by radioimmunoprecipitation using monospecific rabbit antisera, by analysis of the subcellular distribution (for VVgag, VVpol, VVbel-1, and VVbet), and by the ability to induce syncytium formation (for the env expression system) [13].
  • DNA was obtained from peripheral blood lymphocytes from 24 GD patients and 23 healthy blood donors and subjected to PCR amplification using three sets of nested primers derived from gag, env, and LTR regions of the HFV genome [14].

Associations of env with chemical compounds

  • In addition, the envelope glycoproteins from a vervet isolate (SFV-Agm2) were comparable in size to the env precursor gp130, the exterior glycoprotein (gp70), and the transmembrane protein (gp48) as detected by lentil lectin binding and radioimmunoprecipitation (RIPA) [15].
  • Sensitivities of the PCR for amplification of BSV gag and pol/env nucleic acid sequences from cell culture total DNA were 10 ng and 10 pg of DNA, respectively, as determined by the analysis of the amplified PCR products on ethidium bromide-stained agarose gels [2].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of env

  • To maximize the chances of including the major antigenic epitopes, recombinant proteins derived from the HFV gag and env genes divided into three (the 5' amino terminal, the 3' carboxy terminal, and an internal overlapping region) were used as antigens in an ELISA [16].


  1. The simian foamy virus type 1 transcriptional transactivator (Tas) binds and activates an enhancer element in the gag gene. Campbell, M., Eng, C., Luciw, P.A. J. Virol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  2. Detection of bovine retrospumavirus by the polymerase chain reaction. Pamba, R., Jeronimo, C., Archambault, D. J. Virol. Methods (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. Poised for contagion: evolutionary origins of the infectious abilities of invertebrate retroviruses. Malik, H.S., Henikoff, S., Eickbush, T.H. Genome Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Replication-competent hybrids between murine leukemia virus and foamy virus. Shikova-Lekova, E., Lindemann, D., Pietschmann, T., Juretzek, T., Rudolph, W., Herchenröder, O., Gelderblom, H.R., Rethwilm, A. J. Virol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. Retroviral synthetic peptide serum antibodies in human sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Westarp, M.E., Föring, B., Rasmussen, H., Schraff, S., Mertens, T., Kornhuber, H.H. Peptides (1994) [Pubmed]
  6. The transcriptional transactivator of simian foamy virus 1 binds to a DNA target element in the viral internal promoter. Zou, J.X., Luciw, P.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
  7. Human foamy virus genome possesses an internal, Bel-1-dependent and functional promoter. Löchelt, M., Muranyi, W., Flügel, R.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1993) [Pubmed]
  8. Improved foamy virus vectors with minimal viral sequences. Trobridge, G., Josephson, N., Vassilopoulos, G., Mac, J., Russell, D.W. Mol. Ther. (2002) [Pubmed]
  9. Characterization of the R572T point mutant of a putative cleavage site in human foamy virus Env. Bansal, A., Shaw, K.L., Edwards, B.H., Goepfert, P.A., Mulligan, M.J. J. Virol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Genomic organization and expression of simian foamy virus type 3 (SFV-3). Renne, R., Friedl, E., Schweizer, M., Fleps, U., Turek, R., Neumann-Haefelin, D. Virology (1992) [Pubmed]
  11. Characterization of the internal promoter of simian foamy viruses. Campbell, M., Renshaw-Gegg, L., Renne, R., Luciw, P.A. J. Virol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  12. Characterization of a cis-acting sequence in the Pol region required to transfer human foamy virus vectors. Heinkelein, M., Schmidt, M., Fischer, N., Moebes, A., Lindemann, D., Enssle, J., Rethwilm, A. J. Virol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  13. Characterization of human foamy virus proteins expressed by recombinant vaccinia viruses. Fischer, N., Enssle, J., Müller, J., Rethwilm, A., Niewiesk, S. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses (1997) [Pubmed]
  14. Prevalence of human foamy virus-related sequences in the Korean population. Lee, H., Kim, S., Kang, M., Kim, W., Cho, B. J. Biomed. Sci. (1998) [Pubmed]
  15. Characterization of new simian foamy viruses from African nonhuman primates. Broussard, S.R., Comuzzie, A.G., Leighton, K.L., Leland, M.M., Whitehead, E.M., Allan, J.S. Virology (1997) [Pubmed]
  16. No evidence of antibody to human foamy virus in widespread human populations. Ali, M., Taylor, G.P., Pitman, R.J., Parker, D., Rethwilm, A., Cheingsong-Popov, R., Weber, J.N., Bieniasz, P.D., Bradley, J., McClure, M.O. AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses (1996) [Pubmed]
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