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

SIRE-1, a copia/Ty1-like retroelement from soybean, encodes a retroviral envelope-like protein.

The soybean genome hosts a family of several hundred, relatively homogeneous copies of a large, copia/Ty1-like retroelement designated SIRE-1. A copy of this element has been recovered from a Glycine max genomic library. DNA sequence analysis of two SIRE-1 subclones revealed that SIRE-1 contains a long, uninterrupted, ORF between the 3' end of the pol ORF and the 3' long terminal repeat (LTR), a region that harbors the env gene in retroviral genomes. Conceptual translation of this second ORF produces a 70-kDa protein. Computer analyses of the amino acid sequence predicted patterns of transmembrane domains, alpha-helices, and coiled coils strikingly similar to those found in mammalian retroviral envelope proteins. In addition, a 65-residue, proline-rich domain is characterized by a strong amino acid compositional bias virtually identical to that of the 60-amino acid, proline-rich neutralization domain of the feline leukemia virus surface protein. The assignment of SIRE-1 to the copia/Ty1 family was confirmed by comparison of the conceptual translation of its reverse transcriptase-like domain with those of other retroelements. This finding suggests the presence of a proretrovirus in a plant genome and is the strongest evidence to date for the existence of a retrovirus-like genome closely related to copia/Ty1 retrotransposons.[1]


  1. SIRE-1, a copia/Ty1-like retroelement from soybean, encodes a retroviral envelope-like protein. Laten, H.M., Majumdar, A., Gaucher, E.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
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