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Recent Progress in Understanding the Mechanism and Consequences of Retrotransposon Movement

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9783038425403 9783038425410 Year: Pages: VIII, 194 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Biology
Added to DOAB on : 2017-12-27 09:08:55
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Abstract

Retrotransposons are present in essentially all eukaryotic genomes and come in two basic flavors: those that are bracketed by long terminal repeats (LTRs) and share a common ancestor with retroviruses, and non-LTR retrotransposons that have a distinct lineage and remain transpositionally active in humans. Both types of retrotransposons replicate through an RNA intermediate, stably integrate into the host genome and have accumulated to a very high copy number in mammals and certain plant species. Autonomous elements produce transcripts capable of undergoing reverse transcription, and minimally encode proteins with reverse transcriptase, integrase/endonucleolytic, and nucleic acid chaperone activities. Retrotransposons are currently distinguished from viruses, since the process of retrotransposition is not infectious. However, this boundary may prove to be provisional as we learn more about these mobile genetic elements. The goal of this Special Issue of Viruses is to highlight progress in understanding the mechanism and consequences of retrotransposon movement. Several active research areas may be covered in reviews and research articles, including the roles of cellular modulators and defense systems, retrotransposon expression and replication, retrotransposon-induced mutations and their association with human diseases, and how these widely disseminated elements mold eukaryotic genomes.

Mobile Genetic Elements in Cellular Differentiation, Genome Stability, and Cancer

Authors: ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453894 Year: Pages: 123 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-389-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Biology --- Science (General) --- Chemistry (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-22 11:50:10
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Abstract

The human genome, as with the genome of most organisms, is comprised of various types of mobile genetic element derived repeats. Mobile genetic elements that mobilize by an RNA intermediate, include both autonomous and non-autonomous retrotransposons, and mobilize by a “copy and paste” mechanism that relies of the presence of a functional reverse transcriptase activity. The extent to which these different types of elements are actively mobilizing varies among organisms, as revealed with the advent of Next Generation DNA sequencing (NGS).To understand the normal and aberrant mechanisms that impact the mobility of these elements requires a more extensive understanding of how these elements interact with molecular pathways of the cell, including DNA repair, recombination and chromatin. In addition, epigenetic based-mechanisms can also influence the mobility of these elements, likely by transcriptional activation or repression in certain cell types. Studies regarding how mobile genetic elements interface and evolve with these pathways will rely on genomic studies from various model organisms. In addition, the mechanistic details of how these elements are regulated will continue to be elucidated with the use of genetic, biochemical, molecular, cellular, and bioinformatic approaches. Remarkably, the current understanding regarding the biology of these elements in the human genome, suggests these elements may impact developmental biology, including cellular differentiation, neuronal development, and immune function. Thus, aberrant changes in these molecular pathways may also impact disease, including neuronal degeneration, autoimmunity, and cancer.

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