An online tool for investigating gene expression associated with endogenous retroviruses
Over 8% of the human genome consists of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs). Typically, the expression of HERVs is repressed, but HERV activity has been observed in diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegeneration. Such activity can include the transcription of HERV-derived sequences, which – although most no longer carry protein-coding capacity – can still influence the expression of adjacent genes and, hence, mediate biological effects.
WebHERV enables the prediction of active HERV-like sequences in the human genome from genomic coordinates provided by the user. The given coordinates are compared to HERV-like sequences stored in the specialized key-value database DRUMS, through an easy-to-use web-based application.