How to tame an endogenous retrovirus: HERVH and the evolution of human pluripotency

Christine Römer, Manvendra Singh, Laurence D. Hurst, Zsuzsanna Izsvák

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)


HERVH is one of the most successful endogenous retrovirus in the human genome. Relative to other endogenous retroviruses, slower degradation of HERVH internal sequences indicates their potential relevance for the host. HERVH is transcriptionally active during human preimplantation embryogenesis. In this review, we focus on the role of HERVH in regulating human pluripotency. The HERVH-mediated pluripotency network has been evolved recently in primates. Nevertheless, it became an essential feature of human pluripotency. We discuss how HERVH modulates the human pluripotency network by providing alternative transcription factor binding sites, functioning as a long-range enhancer, and as being a major source for pluripotency specific long non-coding RNAs and chimeric transcripts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Virology
Early online date24 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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