human endogenous retroviruses

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Long-established viruses (HERVs) integrated into the genome and no longer able to produce infective virus. HERVs comprise ~8% of the genome and proteins encoded by viral genes may be important in some autoimmune diseases, in particular multiple sclerosis. HERV genes also produce syncytin and there may be an association between HERVs and the HELLP syndrome and pre-eclampsia.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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