Abstract

Human DNA contains multiple copies of a novel class of endogenous retroviral genomes. Analysis of a human recombinant DNA clone (HLM-2) containing one such proviral genome revealed that it is a mosaic of retroviral-related sequences with the organization and length of known endogenous retroviral genomes. The HLM-2 long terminal repeat hybridized with the long terminal repeat of the squirrel monkey virus, a type D retrovirus. The HLM-2 gag and pol genes share extensive nucleotide sequence homology with those of the M432 retrovirus (a type A-related retrovirus), mouse mammary tumor virus (a type B retrovirus), and the avian Rous sarcoma virus (a type C retrovirus). Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed regions in the HLM-2 pol gene that were as much as 70 percent identical to the mouse mammary tumor virus pol gene. A portion of the putative HLM-2 env gene hybridized with the corresponding region of the M432 viral genome.