Genomic structure and function

Common features

All retroviruses share a basic pattern of genomic organization but differ in other features which are characteristic for individual groups of retroviruses. As shown in Figure 1, all retroviral genomes are flanked by two identical elements, called LTRs (long terminal repeats). An LTR is itself subdivided into three domains: U3, R and U5. The U3 region contains promoter and enhancer elements which control retroviral transcription. Transcription starts at the beginning of R in the 5' LTR and terminates at the end of R of the 3' LTR. Thus the R region is represented twice in the viral RNA genome, hence R for repeat, whereas the U regions are unique to either

Table 1 Examples of retroviruses

Retrovirus genus Name Acronym

Simple retroviruses

Table 1 Examples of retroviruses

Retrovirus genus Name Acronym

Simple retroviruses

Avian C-type viruses

Avian leukosis virus

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