• Article |

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the TniQ–Cascade complex encoded by the Vibrio cholerae Tn6677 transposon reveal the mechanistic basis of the functional association of CRISPR- and transposon-associated machineries.

    • Tyler S. Halpin-Healy
    • , Sanne E. Klompe
    •  & Israel S. Fernández
  • Article |

    A programmable transposase integrates donor DNA at user-defined genomic target sites with high fidelity, revealing a new approach for genetic engineering that obviates the need for DNA double-strand breaks and homologous recombination. 

    • Sanne E. Klompe
    • , Phuc L. H. Vo
    •  & Samuel H. Sternberg
  • Article |

    During cellular senescence in human and mouse cells, L1 transposons become transcriptionally derepressed and trigger a type-1 interferon response, which contributes to age-associated inflammation and age-related phenotypes.

    • Marco De Cecco
    • , Takahiro Ito
    •  & John M. Sedivy
  • Brief Communications Arising |

    • Simon J. Elsässer
    • , Kyung-Min Noh
    •  & Laura A. Banaszynski
  • Letter |

    The authors show that two primate-specific genes encoding KRAB domain containing zinc finger proteins, ZNF91 and ZNF93, have evolved during the last 25 million years to repress retrotransposon families that emerged during this time period; according to the new data KZNF gene expansion limits the activity of newly emerged retrotransposons, which subsequently mutate to evade repression.

    • Frank M. J. Jacobs
    • , David Greenberg
    •  & David Haussler
  • Article |

    The structure of the bacteriophage transposase MuA bound to DNA sequences that mimic both the transposon ends and the target DNA ends is solved; the picture of this synaptic complex illustrates the intricacy of Mu transposition, and exposes the architectural diversity among DDE recombinases in complex with substrate DNAs.

    • Sherwin P. Montaño
    • , Ying Z. Pigli
    •  & Phoebe A. Rice
  • Letter |

    The transcription of repetitive elements such as retrotransposons is normally repressed, to prevent their unchecked dissemination throughout the genome. This study shows that heat stress induces the transcription of the ONSEN retroelement. The accumulation of ONSEN is suppressed by small interfering RNAs. When siRNAs were absent, new ONSEN insertions were found in the progeny of heat-stressed plants, having transposed during differentiation. These results imply a memory of stress that can be counteracted by siRNAs.

    • Hidetaka Ito
    • , Hervé Gaubert
    •  & Jerzy Paszkowski
  • Letter |

    The ability of retrotransposons to mobilize and insert into genes presents a challenge to a cell needing to maintain its genomic integrity. These authors have studied retrotransposition in embryonic carcinoma-derived cells. On insertion into DNA, the retrotransposon is quickly silenced, but the retrotransposon-specificity of this process implies that multiple silencing mechanisms may exist. Once cells differentiate, the ability to silence newly introduced retrotransposons is lost but previously inactivated retrotransposons remain inactive.

    • Jose L. Garcia-Perez
    • , Maria Morell
    •  & John V. Moran