The study included investigating expression of certain components of HERV-Fc1 by qRT-PCR. During the studies, standards for various expressed transcripts of the virus were generated using the Durascribe® T7 Transcription Kit. The Durascribe Kit synthesizes RNA that contains 2'-fluorouracil and 2'-fluorocytidine, rendering transcripts resistant to degradation by ribonucleases A, B, and C. The standards were used as controls to determine the extracellular HERV-Fc1 RNA load in normal and MS individuals. The analysis showed that the expression of a capsid (gag) protein of HERV-H/F was significantly increased in CD4+ (P <0.001) and CD8+ (P <0.001) T lymphocytes, and in monocytes (P = 0.0356) from MS patients with active disease.
The importance of T cells in MS induction and further progression has been well documented. The methods developed in this study will enable further investigation of differential expression of endogenous retroviral markers in HERV-Fc1 biology related to MS, and possibly other autoimmune disorders.
Laska MJ et al (2012). Expression of HERV-Fc1, a human endogenous retrovirus, is increased in patients with active multiple sclerosis. Journal of virology, 86 (7), 3713-22 PMID: 22278236