Gv1, a zinc finger gene controlling endogenous MLV expression

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The genomes of inbred mice harbor around 50 endogenous murine leukemia virus (MLV) loci, although the specific complement varies greatly between strains. The Gv1 locus is known to control the transcription of endogenous MLVs and to be the dominant determinant of cell-surface presentation of MLV envelope, the GIX antigen. Here we identify a single Krüppel-associated box zinc finger protein (ZFP) gene, Zfp998, as Gv1 and show it to be necessary and sufficient to determine the GIX+ phenotype. By long-read sequencing of BAC clones from 129 mice, the prototypic GIX+ strain, we reveal the source of sufficiency and deficiency as splice-acceptor variations and highlight the varying origins of the chromosomal region encompassing Gv1. Zfp998 becomes the second identified ZFP gene responsible for epigenetic suppression of endogenous MLVs in mice and further highlights the prominent role of this gene family in control of endogenous retroviruses.

Journal details

Volume 38
Issue number 6
Pages 2468-2474
Available online
Publication date