High copy number in human endogenous retrovirus families is associated with copying mechanisms in addition to reinfection.
There are at least 31 families of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs), each derived from an independent infection by an exogenous virus. Using evidence of purifying selection on HERV genes, we have shown previously that reinfection by replication-competent elements was the predominant mechanism of copying in some families. Here we analyze the evolution of 17 HERV families using d(N)/d(S) ratios and find a positive relationship between copy number and the use of additional copying mechanisms...Expand abstract
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