XMRV: A "Natural Human Retrovirus"...???

Messages
1,270
Likes
116
Danny

Hi. I think I know what this means but not sure.

As I mentioned--and is mentioned here--MLV has been used in gene therapy. Viruses are used as vectors--fedex trucks so to speak--to deliver their payload of a correct gene into the genome. You need that good gene to integrate into the genome so when the cell divides you keep getting that good gene.

Anyway, they modified the virus so that (they believed) it would not be harmful and replicate endlessly. They used it because supposedly it doesn't cause infection in humans. HOWEVER, it did have promoter sequences intact that, when the virus integrated into the genome of the bubble babies given MLV/good gene, promoted cancer by switching on human genes for cancer. The bubble babies got cured only to get cancer, which then had to be treated with chemo.

What they're saying here is that if you have XMRV already--and then you get MLV in gene therapy-- (at least I THINK this is what they're saying)--you could get in serious trouble as the XMRV will help the MLV and allow it to replicate. They will work together. In addition they're saying if you're experimenting with or tweaking human cell lines in the lab, and those human cells happen to have XMRV, and you're using MLV to ferry your "cargo" (good gene or whatever else) into those cells you might create a monster...

I'd like to know if they've used MLV in anything else but gene therapy. You have to wonder about it jumping species when they were already conducting experiments in which they inserted MLV into humans.
 
Messages
1,270
Likes
116
By the way...helper viruses

These are really common, I believe.

There is a virus called adenovirus, mostly responsible for bad colds etc. It's pretty immunogenic and inflammatory. They tried to use that in gene therapy but it just is too immunogenic--dangerous. They thought they saw contaminants but it turns out it's something called Adeno associated virus.

They call it the wimpy virus. It doesn't really replicate on its own--unless it has help from Adenovirus.

I suspect this is commonplace--that viruses that either don't replicate on their own (or modified MLV as in the above article), or else aren't that BAD on their own and maybe a little indolent, get switched on by "helpers" and go awol.
 

dannybex

Senior Member
Messages
3,356
Likes
2,360
Location
Seattle
Thanks Jill...

Thanks so much for deciphering the study...my brain only stretches so far, especially in the mornings...

I'm curious about the earlier epidemics. I wonder if they even have tissue samples available from them, and if XMRV will show up way back in the 1930's or the 1950's outbreaks?
 
Messages
1,270
Likes
116
Danny I Somehow Doubt It...

Maybe I'm wrong, and it makes me sick to think of the possibility, but they have been manipulating MLV for several decades. I hate to conceive of lab/human error but think about it. We've actually been using it in cultures of all kinds probably, testing it, manipulating it, and even use it in gene therapy experiments. And it jumps species...