DNA transposable elements

DNA transposable elements are contiguous stretches of genomic DNA that can change the number of their copies in the genome or move their position in the genome, often affecting the activity of nearby genes. Many are inactive in the absence of autonomous transposable elements encoding the transposase catalyzing the excision, insertion or copying of the element.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Transposable elements (TE) are the dominant constituent of plant genomes. Here the authors develop a tool to analyze TE insertion sites in 3000 rice genomes and provide evidence for recent TE activity during cultivation and that external, rather than genetic, stimuli trigger most activations.

    • Marie-Christine Carpentier
    • , Ernandes Manfroi
    • , Fu-Jin Wei
    • , Hshin-Ping Wu
    • , Eric Lasserre
    • , Christel Llauro
    • , Emilie Debladis
    • , Roland Akakpo
    • , Yue-Ie Hsing
    •  & Olivier Panaud
  • Reviews |

    PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) have numerous crucial biological roles, particularly transposon silencing in the germ line. In this Review, the authors describe our latest understanding of piRNA biogenesis and functions across diverse species, highlighting how, despite the universal importance of transposon control, different species have evolved intriguingly distinct mechanistic routes to achieve this.

    • Deniz M. Ozata
    • , Ildar Gainetdinov
    • , Ansgar Zoch
    • , Dónal O’Carroll
    •  & Phillip D. Zamore
  • Reviews |

    The repetitive nature of transposable elements (TEs) creates bioinformatic challenges that frequently result in them being disregarded (‘masked’) in analyses. As physiological and pathological roles for TEs become increasingly appreciated, this Review discusses bioinformatics tools dedicated to TE analysis, including for genomic annotation, TE classification, identifying polymorphisms and assessing likely functional impacts.

    • Patricia Goerner-Potvin
    •  & Guillaume Bourque
  • Reviews |

    Long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1) transposable elements are active in the human genome. In this Review, Burns describes how the retrotransposition activity of LINE-1 in cancer genomes can result in somatically acquired insertions that mark evolving tumour clones.

    • Kathleen H. Burns
    Nature Reviews Cancer 17, 415-424
  • Reviews |

    Next-generation sequencing has facilitated the study of how transposable elements and retroviruses select their diverse genomic sites of integration, and revealed integration site preferences that range from specific nucleotide sequences to particular chromatin states. The authors review the various mechanisms of integration site selection in eukaryotes, as well as the molecular and cellular determinants that guide this process.

    • Tania Sultana
    • , Alessia Zamborlini
    • , Gael Cristofari
    •  & Pascale Lesage
  • Reviews |

    Lineage analyses of multicellular organisms provide key insights into developmental mechanisms and how these developmental trajectories go awry in diverse diseases. This Review discusses the features, technical challenges and latest opportunities of an evolving range of sophisticated genetic techniques for tracking cell lineages in organisms. These strategies include methods for prospective tracking using engineered genetic constructs, as well as retrospective tracking based on naturally occurring somatic mutations.

    • Mollie B. Woodworth
    • , Kelly M. Girskis
    •  & Christopher A. Walsh

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