Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The left half of XMRV is present in an endogenous retrovirus of NIH/3T3 Swiss mouse cells

Ramon Mendoza, Andrew E. Vaughan, and A. Dusty Miller:
JVI Accepts, published online ahead of print on 22 June 2011
J. Virol. doi:10.1128/JVI.05137-11
Human Biology Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA

Correspondence: A. Dusty Miller, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA., Phone: (206) 667-2890. E-mail:

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) is a gammaretrovirus found in association with human prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, although these associations are controversial. XMRV shows at most 94% identity to known mouse retroviruses. Here we used XMRV-specific PCR to search for a more closely related source of XMRV in mice. While we could not find a complete copy, we did find a 3,600 bp region of XMRV in an endogenous retrovirus present in NIH/3T3 cells. These results show that XMRV has clear ancestors in mice, and highlight another possible source of contamination in PCR assays for XMRV.

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