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K-type human endogenous retroviral elements in human melanoma

Authors Rincon L, Sedrak M, Sun H, Garza G, Kelly B, Dong J

Received 6 June 2014

Accepted for publication 21 July 2014

Published 4 October 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 153—159

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AGG.S68926

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Liliana Rincon,1 Michael P Sedrak,1 Huijian Sun,2 Gregorio Garza,3 Brent Kelly,4 Jianli Dong1

1Department of Pathology, 2School of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, TX, USA; 3Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico; 4Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Medical Branch, TX, USA

Abstract: Human endogenous retroviral elements (HERVs) are thought to be germline-integrated genetic remnants of exogenous retroviral infections. HERVs comprise approximately 5%–8% of the human genome. Although all HERV genomes are highly defective, some, especially the K type (HERV-K), have the potential to be expressed and have biological activities. HERV-K expression has been detected in human melanomas. There are also reports on the regulation and potential activities of HERV-K in melanoma cells. Although a causal link between the activation of HERV-K and melanoma development has yet to be determined, existing data support the further research efforts in this area. In this review, we summarize the published studies on the expression, regulation, and activity of HERV-K in human melanoma.

Keywords: HERV, HERV-K, melanoma development

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