Genetic Variation in Retroviruses

  • John M. Coffin
Part of the Applied Virology Research book series (AVIR, volume 2)

Abstract

Retroviruses are a highly specialized group of viruses whose members are closely related in genetic organization, virion structure, and mode of replication, yet within this common framework they display an unparalleled diversity of biologic effects on their host. On a large scale, retroviruses have evolved to occupy a wide variety of distinct lifestyles—ranging from a completely benign transposable elementlike association with host germline that can span millennia to horizontal infections that lead to the death of the infected host with lytic, immunologic, or neoplastic disease. On a microscale, retroviruses can often undergo dramatic changes in genome structure during infection of a single host. Examples of this include the reproducible acquisition of oncogenes by slowly oncogenic viruses, the elaborately orchestrated series of recombinations and mutational events that create pathogenic out of benign viruses during the lifetime of certain mice, and the rapid variation in nucleotide sequence seen in the envelope gene of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other lenti viruses.

Keywords

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Cold Spring Harbor Long Terminal Repeat Relative Growth Rate Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Coffin
    • 1
  1. 1.Tufts University School of MedicineDepartment of Molecular Biology and MicrobiologyBostonUSA

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