Human Endogenous Retroviruses in Neurological Diseases

Abstract : The causes of multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have long remained elusive. A new category of pathogenic components, normally dormant within human genomes, has been identified: human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs). These represent ∼8% of the human genome, and environmental factors have reproducibly been shown to trigger their expression. The resulting production of envelope (Env) proteins from HERV-W and HERV-K appears to engage pathophysiological pathways leading to the pathognomonic features of MS and ALS, respectively. Pathogenic HERV elements may thus provide a missing link in understanding these complex diseases. Moreover, their neutralization may represent a promising strategy to establish novel and more powerful therapeutic approaches.
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Patrick Küry, Avindra Nath, Alain Créange, Antonina Dolei, Patrice Marche, et al.. Human Endogenous Retroviruses in Neurological Diseases. Trends in Molecular Medicine, Elsevier, 2018, 24 (4), pp.379. ⟨10.1016/j.molmed.2018.02.007⟩. ⟨inserm-02333223⟩

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