A unique approach by targeting pathogenic effects of human endogenous retroviruses
GeNeuro develops a pioneering approach for the therapy and diagnosis of diseases associated with human endogenous retrovirus expression.
The sequencing of the human genome revealed that nearly one-half of the genome is composed of repeated or retrotransposable elements. Among them, human endogenous retroviruses represent more than 8% of the human genome and result from the integration of exogenous retroviruses that have infected the germline of their host during the primate evolution.
The human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) appear to have a critical significance in certain diseases, at the crossroads of genetics, virology and physiopathology.
A human endogenous retrovirus, the Multiple Sclerosis associated retrovirus (MSRV), is a member of the HERV-W family. The retrovirus MSRV has been initially isolated in cell cultures from patients affected with Multiple Sclerosis in the 90’s. MSRV is normally latent in the genome of individuals, but it can be re-activated by certain co-factors, such as viruses of the herpes family, and then expresses a pathogenic envelope protein (MSRV-Env).
The retrovirus MSRV appears to be a major triggering and aggravating factor in the development and progression of some neurological diseases. Depending on environmental co-factors and target organs, the retrovirus MSRV could be involved in Multiple Sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or Schizophrenia.