Vaccines for Virus from Retroviridae Family

Retroviridae is a family of viruses that contain a very large number of different types of viruses. A prominent feature of this type of virus is its ability to reversely transcribe RNA into DNA during its replication. Such viruses usually cause cancer and immunodeficiency. Creative Biolabs is a professional vaccine research and development company with scientists from all over the world who are proficient in vaccine development in different fields. With more than ten years of continuous development, we have successfully prepared a wide range of vaccine products and launched comprehensive vaccine services to help customers better complete their vaccine research tasks.

Overview of Retrovirus

Retrovirus refers to a type of virus that is capable of inserting a replica of its own genome into the DNA of the host cell it infects. The genome of such a virus is a single-stranded post-sense RNA. After the retrovirus enters the host cell, in the cytoplasm, the virus utilizes its own reverse transcriptase to use its genome as a template to produce the reverse of its genome. The newly generated DNA (called the provirus) is integrated into the genome of the host cell by the integrase. The genome of the host cell incorporating the viral DNA will undergo transcription and translation of the gene as a whole, and the genomes and proteins required for assembling the new virus will also be produced in this way. The retrovirus virion contains two identical single-stranded RNA molecules encapsulated by an envelope consisting of a glycoprotein (encoded by the viral env gene) and a lipid (obtained from the host plasma membrane). The virus's envelope protects the virus from the dangers in the extracellular environment, allowing the virus to pass through host cell via the endosomal transport and endowing the virus to directly enter the cell through membrane fusion.

The main proteins of retrovirus include gag, env, pol, and protease protein. Gag is a group-specific antigen and a major component of the viral capsid. Different viruses express different proteases, and their role is mainly to cleave proteins during virus maturation to promote the maturation of pol and gag proteins. The pol protein is involved in the synthesis of viral DNA and its integration into host DNA. Env is responsible for the entry and exit of the virus into the host cell. The surface component (SU) of the protein allows the virus to bind to the target cell through a specific cell surface receptor, and another membrane-anchored trans-membrane component (TM) of the protein makes the virus enter the cell through membrane fusion. Therefore, Env is the cause of retrovirus infection, and the functional env gene is also evidence that retroviruses differ from retroelements.

An overview of the replication cycle of retroviruses.

Fig.1 An overview of the replication cycle of retroviruses. (N. James MacLachlan and Edward J. Dubovi, 2016)

Development of Vaccines for Retrovirus

Drugs with protease activity or those as reverse transcriptase inhibitors can function in the way of targeting specific sites or specific sequences in their respective enzymes, but due to the rapid variation of genes encoding proteases or reverse transcriptases in viruses, the effective period of the drug is very short. Because the reverse transcription process does not have a corrective function like that in DNA replication, the frequency of mutation within retrovirus is high, which is the molecular basis for the rapid resistance of the virus against viral drugs, and is also an important reason hindering the development of effective vaccines. The Retroviridae family contains a large number of viruses hosted by different species, which can cause diseases such as malignant tumors, neurological disorders, and immunodeficiency. Historically, traditional retrovirus vaccines have often been unable to provide adequate protection, so the current vaccine research strategy is mainly to use DNA vaccines prepared by molecular biology. Despite the limited success of these vaccines, sporadic success and ongoing refinement of such vaccines suggest the feasibility of this strategy.

Creative Biolabs has developed vaccines and related products and services for a variety of viruses in the Retroviridae family, including:

Vaccine development is a great project that benefits the world. Creative Biolabs is a research assistant who is highly trusted by customers in vaccine product development and vaccine service delivery via bringing together the advantages of global vaccine talent. If you have any vaccine research needs, please contact us immediately!


  1. N. James MacLachlan and Edward J. (2016). “Fenner's Veterinary Virology, Fifth Edition” Chapter 14 Pages 273.

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