Molecular structure of a gypsy element of Drosophila subobscura (gypsyDs) constituting a degenerate form of insect retroviruses.


:We have determined the nucleotide sequence of a 7.5 kb full-size gypsy element from Drosophila subobscura strain H-271. Comparative analyses were carried out on the sequence and molecular structure of gypsy elements of D.subobscura (gypsyDs), D.melanogaster (gypsyDm) and D.virilis (gypsyDv). The three elements show a structure that maintains a common mechanism of expression. ORF1 and ORF2 show typical motifs of gag and pol genes respectively in the three gypsy elements and could encode functional proteins necessary for intracellular expansion. In the three ORF1 proteins an arginine-rich region was found which could constitute a RNA binding motif. The main differences among the gypsy elements are found in ORF3 (env-like gene); gypsyDm encodes functional env proteins, whereas gypsyDs and gypsyDv ORF3s lack some motifs essential for functionality of this protein. On the basis of these results, while gypsyDm is the first insect retrovirus described, gypsyDs and gypsyDv could constitute degenerate forms of these retroviruses. In this context, we have found some evidence that gypsyDm could have recently infected some D.subobscura strains. Comparative analyses of divergence and phylogenetic relationships of gypsy elements indicate that the gypsy elements belonging to species of different subgenera (gypsyDs and gypsyDv) are closer than gypsy elements of species belonging to the same subgenus (gypsyDs and gypsyDm). These data are congruent with horizontal transfer of gypsy elements among different Drosophila spp.


Nucleic Acids Res


Nucleic acids research


Alberola TM,de Frutos R




Has Abstract


1996-03-01 00:00:00














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