Characterization Of A Novel Endogenous Retrovirus Envelope Protein In North American Mule Deer

Open Access
Bankert, Jason Gerald
Area of Honors:
Immunology and Infectious Disease
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Mary Poss, Thesis Supervisor
  • James Endres Howell, Honors Advisor
  • gammaretrovirus
  • CrERV
  • env
  • envelope glycoprotein
Endogenous retroviruses are present in many animals, including humans, and represent ancient invasions of the host germ line following infection events. The proviruses will be passed vertically if they are not deleterious to the host. We have described a new family of gammaretroviruses in mule deer called CrERVγ. These encode intact genes and are capable of expressing viral proteins in the cell. We have characterized and expressed the envelope glycoprotein from CrERVγ cytoplasmically and have compared it to the envelope glycoproteins of four other gammaretroviruses. The physical properties as well as structural characteristics and phylogenetic studies were analyzed to understand how CrERVγ relates to the other gammaretroviruses. We show that the envelope glycoprotein in CrERVγ shares common motifs found in all gammaretroviruses and also show patterns in N-glycosylation sites, secondary structures and physical properties that are both common to the other gammaretroviruses and also unique to CrERVγ.