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Human endogenous retrovirus K10: expression of Gag protein and detection of antibodies in patients with seminomas.




 

J Virol. 1995 Jan;69(1):414-21. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

The human endogenous retrovirus K10 (HERV-K10) has been identified in the human genome by its homology to retroviruses of other vertebrates (M. Ono, T. Yasunaga, T. Miyata, and H. Ushikubo, J. Virol. 60:589-598, 1986). Using PCR amplification, DNA cloning, sequencing, and procaryotic expression, we were able to demonstrate that HERV-K10 encodes a 73-kDa protein which was processed by a HERV-K10-encoded protease to yield proteins p22/p26, p30, and p15/16. Analysis of the teratocarcinoma cell line Tera 1 or tumor tissues by immunoblotting demonstrated that the 80-kDa polyprotein of HERV-K10 gag and a processed protein of 39 kDa were expressed. In addition, a major protein of 39 kDa and additional species of 30, 22, 19, and 17 kDa could be detected in the supernatant of Tera 1 cells, suggesting that HERV-K10 Gag proteins are either secreted or processed to probably incomplete viral particles. In addition, the gag gene of HERV-K10 was expressed in the baculovirus system. Using this recombinant system to test antisera from patients with different diseases and healthy individuals, we were able to detect antibodies against the N-terminal part of HERV-K10 Gag in 2 to 4% of groups of tumor patients with titers ranging between 1:80 and 1:640, while approximately 0.1 to 0.5% of healthy individuals exhibited antibodies with lower titers. In contrast, patients with seminoma had antibody titers in the range of 1:2,560 at the time when the tumor was detected. Immunohistochemistry using specific rabbit sera or monoclonal antibodies against HERV-K10 Gag revealed that the Gag protein is expressed in the cytoplasm of the tumor cells. Furthermore, an 80-kDa protein corresponding to the HERV-K10 Gag polyprotein could be detected in tumor biopsies. For the first time, these data indicate that HERV-K10 Gag proteins are synthesized in seminoma cells and tumors exhibit relatively high antibody titers against Gag. So far, no information on which role HERV-K10 plays in the development of this tumor exists.

Antibodies, Viral/*ANALYSIS Cell Line Gene Products, gag/*GENETICS/IMMUNOLOGY Human Recombinant Proteins/IMMUNOLOGY Retroviridae/IMMUNOLOGY/*METABOLISM Seminoma/*IMMUNOLOGY/METABOLISM/VIROLOGY Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Teratoma/IMMUNOLOGY/METABOLISM Tumor Cells, Cultured JOURNAL ARTICLE



 




Information in this article was accurate in March 30, 1995. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.