Project Description

Endogenous retroviruses and superantigens

Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are repetitive elements that constitute nearly 10% of the human genome. In most cases, these elements have lost the ability to produce virus particles. However, ERV sequences can act as regulatory elements for neighboring genes. In addition, some ERVs contain intact open reading frames, which can encode proteins with pathophysiological functions e.g. via superantigenic properties. The activation of ERVs has been observed in cancer and autoimmunity. We use various approaches to analyse ERV-related gene expression in tumor cells and cells derived from patients with autoimmune diseases. Our ultimate goal is the identification of new targets for developing treatment strategies for cancer and autoimmunity.

This project is part of a close collaboration with the Department of Neurology (Dr. A. Emmer) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Molecular Drug Biochemistry and Therapy Development (Dr. H. Cynis). Our research is currently supported by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE).

Schneider J, Volkmer I, Engel K, Emmer A, Staege MS. Expression of a new endogenous retrovirus-associated transcript in Hodgkin lymphoma cells. Int J Mol Sci 20:5320 (2019).

Emmer A, Abobarin-Adeagbo A, Posa A, Jordan B, Delank KS, Staege MS, Surov A, Zierz S, Kornhuber ME. Myositis in Lewis rats induced by the superantigen Staphylococcal enterotoxin A. Mol Biol Rep 46:4085-4094 (2019).

Barth M, Gröger V, Cynis H, Staege MS. Identification of human endogenous retrovirus transcripts in Hodgkin lymphoma cells. Mol Biol Rep 46:1885-1893 (2019).

Kruse K, Nettling M, Wappler N, Emmer A, Kornhuber M, Staege MS, Grosse I. WebHERV: A web-server for the computational investigation of gene expression associated with endogenous retrovirus-like sequences. Front Microbiol 9:2384 (2018).

Posa A, Kornhuber MA, Staege MS, Emmer A. Multiple Sklerose: Pathogenetischer Paradigmenwechsel – Humane endogene Retroviren als Auslöser der Erkrankung? Versicherungsmedizin 70:134-139 (2018).

Staege MS, Emmer A. Editorial: Endogenous viral elements – links between autoimmunity and cancer? Front Microbiol 9:3171 (2018).

Mueller T, Hantsch C, Volkmer I, Staege MS. Differentiation-dependent regulation of human endogenous retrovirus K sequences and neighbouring genes in germ cell tumour cells. Front Microbiol 9:1253 (2018).

Emmer A, Brütting C, Kornhuber M, Staege MS. Genetic determinants of antibody levels in cerebrospinal fluid in multiple sclerosis: possible links to endogenous retroviruses. Int J Mol Sci 19:E786 (2018).

Brütting C, Narasimhan H, Hoffmann F, Kornhuber ME, Staege MS, Emmer A. Investigation of endogenous retrovirus sequences in the neighborhood of genes up-regulated in a neuroblastoma model after treatment with hypoxia-mimetic cobalt chloride. Front Microbiol 9:287 (2018).

Giebler M, Staege MS, Blauschmidt S, Ohm LI, Kraus M, Würl P, Taubert H, Greither T. Elevated HERV-K expression in soft tissue sarcoma is associated with worsened relapse-free survival. Front Microbiol 13;9:211 (2018).

Bustamante Rivera YY, Brütting C, Schmidt C, Volkmer I, Staege MS. Endogenous retrovirus 3 – history, physiology, and pathology. Front Microbiol 15;8:2691 (2018).

Emmer A, Posa A, Staege MS, Kornhuber M. Hüllproteine humaner endogener Retroviren (HERV) und andere Superantigene: Pathogenetisches Modell für Entzündungsvorgänge bei Multipler Sklerose. neuro aktuell 32:15-17 (2018).

Staege MS, Emmer A. Humane endogene Retroviren, Epstein-Barr-Viren und Multiple Sklerose. neuro aktuell 32:16-20 (2018).

Brütting C, Emmer A, Kornhuber ME, Staege MS. Co-occurrences of putative endogenous retrovirus-associated diseases. Biomed Res Int 2017:7973165 (2017).

Gerlach K, Tomuschat C, Finke R, Staege MS, Brütting, C, Brandt J, Jordan B, Rosemeier A, Schwesig R, Delank KS, Kornhuber ME, Emmer A. Experimental arthritis in the rat induced by the superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA). Scand J Immunol 85:191-196 (2017).

Brütting C, Emmer A, Kornhuber M, Staege MS. A survey of endogenous retrovirus (ERV) sequences in the vicinity of multiple sclerosis (MS)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Mol Biol Rep 43:8 27.

Staege MS, Müller K, Kewitz S, Volkmer I, Mauz-Körholz C, Bernig T, Körholz D. Expression of dual-specificity phosphatase 5 pseudogene 1 (DUSP5P1) in tumor cells. PLOS One 9:e89577 (2014).27-836 (2016).

Emmer A, Staege MS, Kornhuber ME. The retrovirus/superantigen hypothesis of multiple sclerosis. Cell Mol Neurobiol 34:1087-1096 (2014).

Kewitz S, Staege MS. Expression and regulation of the endogenous retrovirus 3 (ERV3) in Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells. Front Oncol 3:179 (2013).

Emmer A, Gerlach K, Staege MS, Kornhuber ME. T-cell subsets of the encephalitis induced by the superantigen staphylococcus enterotoxin A (SEA) in the lewis rat: an immunohistochemical investigation. Cell Immunol 264:93-96 (2010).

Emmer A, Gerlach K, Staege MS, Kornhuber ME. Cerebral gene expression of superantigen encephalitis in the lewis rat induced with staphylococcal enterotoxin a. Scand J Immunol 67:464-472 (2008).