Transcription Start Regions in the Human Genome Are Favored Targets for MLV Integration

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Science  13 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5626, pp. 1749-1751
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083413

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Factors contributing to retroviral integration have been intractable because past studies have not precisely located genomic sites of proviruses in sufficient numbers for significant analysis. In this study, 903 murine leukemia virus (MLV) and 379 human immunodeficiency virus–1 (HIV-1) integrations in the human genome were mapped. The data showed that MLV preferred integration near the start of transcriptional units (either upstream or downstream) whereas HIV-1 preferred integration anywhere in the transcriptional unit but not upstream of the transcriptional start. Defining different integration site preferences for retroviruses will have important ramifications for gene therapy and may aid in our understanding of the factors directing the integration process.

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