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HIV virulence depends on where virus inserts itself in host DNA

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Strawberry, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

    Seattle, WA USA

    Could this be the same process as with the viruses that typically cause problems with ME/CFS? And why some people have more problems than others? I know I don't understand the differences between herpes viruses, HIV, enteroviruses, and all that jazz, so maybe it isn't physically possible.
    natasa778 likes this.
  2. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Simplified explanation: herpes viruses and many enteroviruses are DNA viruses which do not insert genes in chromosomes. They inject their own genes through the nuclear membrane as separate plasmids called episomes. All retroviruses are RNA viruses which only transcribe their genes into DNA when they insert them in chromosomes. You can say that the inserted provirus from a retrovirus has a specific location in the host genome. You cannot say this about episomes, which are simply strings of DNA loose in the region near chromosomes. Though many DNA viruses depend on specific receptors in the nuclear membrane to insert material, we now know that herpes viruses blast genetic material through the membrane in a very non-specific way like firing it from a cannon. If you find sequences from herpes viruses in chromosomes, as with HHV6 in telomeres at the end of chromosomes, it probably means some other process put them there.
    Snow Leopard, natasa778 and Valentijn like this.

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