envelope protein

Retroviruses turned egg-layers into live-bearers

The protein syncytin, which is essential for formation of the placenta, originally came to the genome of our ancestors, and those of other mammals, via a retrovirus infection. Placental structures have also developed in non-mammalian vertebrates. The Mabuya lizard (pictured: image credit), which emerged 25 million years ago, has a placenta very much like those …

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TWiV 439: The purloined envelope

Paul Bieniasz joins the TWiV team to talk about the co-option, millions of years ago, of an endogenous retrovirus envelope protein by hominid ancestors for host defense against viral infection.   You can find TWiV #439 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen. below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 439 (74 MB .mp3, 122 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV!

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