Lack of correlation between HERV-K expression and HIV-1 viral load in plasma specimens

Daniel Esqueda, Fangling Xu, Yuliana Moore, Zhen Yang, Gengming Huang, Patrick A. Lennon, Peter C. Hu, Jianli Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


HERV-K viral RNA has been reported in plasma specimens of HIV-1 infected individuals. Emerging data support the regulation and functional interaction between HERV-K and HIV-1, which warrant development of accurate HERV-K assays to evaluate HERV-K activation. In this study, we examined HERV-K RNA expression after careful removal of "contaminating" cellular DNA using DNase I. We found that DNase I digestion effectively reduced HERV-K RT-PCR positive signal. We also found that levels of HERV-K expression did not correlate with HIV-1 viral load. Our study is in agreement with the published studies on HERV-K activation in HIV-1 positive plasma specimens, and in addition, calls for careful removal of cellular DNA to accurately evaluate HERV-K RNA expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-125
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Laboratory Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 30 2013


  • DNase I digestion
  • HERV-K expression
  • HIV-1 viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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