An env-like protein encoded by a Drosophila retroelement: Evidence that gypsy is an infectious retrovirus

Sun U. Song, Tatiana Gerasimova, Maryellen Kurkulos, Jef D. Boeke, Victor G. Corces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The gypsy element of Drosophila differs from most LTR retrotransposons in containing a third open reading frame that resembles retroviral env genes. The protein encoded by ORF3 is glycosylated and processed, like all retroviral envelope proteins. The protein is expressed at high levels in fly strains in which gypsy elements are active. In these strains the protein is found primarily in viral particles. When larvae of fly strains in which gypsy is normally inactive are exposed to sucrose gradient fractions containing these particles, a high level of gypsy insertion activity is observed in their progeny. Thus, gypsy has the expected properties of an insect retrovirus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2046-2057
Number of pages12
JournalGenes and Development
Volume8
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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