2014 Volume 89 Issue 3 Pages 143-148
Endogenous bornavirus-like nucleoprotein (EBLN) elements are nucleotide sequences homologous to the bornavirus N gene that have been identified in animal genomes. EBLN elements are considered to have been generated through reverse transcription of bornavirus N mRNA, mainly with the aid of long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1). The genome of thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) contains an EBLN element, itEBLN, which is thought to have been integrated less than 8.5 million years ago (MYA). However, it was also reported that the LINE-1 activity on this lineage was lost 4-5 MYA. Here, molecular evolutionary analyses were conducted to gain insights into the integration time of itEBLN. In a phylogenetic analysis of bornavirus N and itEBLN, using an EBLN element from cape golden moles (Chrysochloris asiatica) (caEBLN) as the outgroup, the integration time of itEBLN appeared to be close to the time of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for bornavirus N. From an analysis of genomic sequences for bornavirus strains isolated at different time points, the time of the MRCA for bornavirus N was estimated to be < 0.3 MYA. These results suggest that the integration time of itEBLN was much later than the loss of LINE-1 activity, supporting the non-LINE-1-mediated integration of itEBLN.