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The role of the human endogenous retrovirus family W (HERV-W) activity in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis investigated by transcriptome analysis of patients affected

Grant number: 15/05958-3
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2016 - March 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Camila Malta Romano
Grantee:Camila Malta Romano
Home Institution: Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo (IMT). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Augusto Cesar Penalva de Oliveira ; Emmanuel Dias-Neto ; Guilherme Sciascia Do Olival ; Israel Tojal da Silva


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of unknown etiology, difficult to treat, extremely complex and affecting more than 2.5 million people worldwide. It has an inflammatory stage and is characterized by the progressive and degenerative character. Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) family W (HERV-W / MSRV - multiple sclerosis associated retrovirus) are super expressed in patients with MS, where it can be found mRNA in the blood and presence of the env protein in the lesions. Also, the expression of these elements inhibits the differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells, directly blocking the remyelination process. Despite the evident involvement of MSRV with MS, it is still unclear the causes and consequences of this relationship, what elements are expressed and if the repertoire of active proviruses differs according to the nature of the disease. Currently, a new treatment for MS based on monoclonal antibodies directed to env protein / HERV-W is being developed, and a better understanding of the activity of HERVs in such patients now becomes essential. The aim of this study is to sequence the transcriptome of patients with MS in (i) conditions of exacerbation (relapses) and (ii) in remitting period, with emphasis on the analysis of the HERV-W family activity. The transcriptome of healthy individuals will also be held for comparison. We hope that data generated in this study can increase the understanding of the relationship between HERV-W and MS. Crucially, it is also our objective to generate enough data of affected individuals that allows analysis of other genes possibly involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RODRIGUES, LUCAS S.; DA SILVA NALI, LUIZ H.; LEAL, CIBELE O. D.; SABINO, ESTER C.; LACERDA, ELIANA M.; KINGDON, CAROLINE C.; NACUL, LUIS; ROMANO, CAMILA M. HERV-K and HERV-W transcriptional activity in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. AUTOIMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS, v. 10, n. 1 DEC 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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