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J Bacteriol Virol. 2014 Mar;44(1):75-83. English. Original Article.
Sa M , Park CG , Hwang ES .
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Institute of Endemic Diseases, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea.
Centers for Animal Resource Development, Seoul, Korea.
Translational Xenotransplantation Research Center, Seoul, Korea.

All xenografts from pigs impose infection risk by porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV). The purpose of this study was to investigate the env constructs with the comparison of the ratio of the competent form to the defective one of env in subtypes, PERV-A, PERV-B and PERV-C in different pig breeds. The results of PCR amplification of env represented that all env subtypes had more than two defective forms which cannot bind to host cells due to the absence of binding regions of env in miniature pigs, SNU and PWG, and farm pig breeds, Duroc, Yorkshire and Landrace. In addition, comparing the full sequences with the defective ones in three subtypes demonstrated that the present percentages of env sequences in defective PERV-A, PERV-B and PERV-C were approximately 50%, 38~45% and 4~11%, respectively, in SNU and PWG pigs whereas PERV-A and PERV-B occupied around 40 to 60% but PERV-C was not detected in farm pigs. Quantitative real-time PCR assays with primers and probes targeted to proline-rich region (PRR) of each env subtype were done to measure the copy numbers of each env subtype. When the reference was set with copy number of PERV-A, the ratio of those of PERV-B and PERV-C to the reference were 1.5 to 6.0 folds high in SNU and PWG pigs while 1.0 or less in farm pigs. These contradictory results of PERV-C constructs and copy numbers in SNU pigs suggests that many truncated or short defective sequences of PERV-C might be present in them.

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