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Do Small RNAs Interfere With LINE-1?

Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/jbb/2006/29049
  • Review Article


Long interspersed elements (LINE-1 or L1) are the most active transposable elements in the human genome. Due to their high copy number and ability to sponsor retrotransposition of nonautonomous RNA sequences, unchecked L1 activity can negatively impact the genome by a number of means. Substantial evidence in lower eukaryotes demonstrates that the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery plays a major role in containing transposon activity. Despite extensive analysis in other eukaryotes, no experimental evidence has been presented that L1-derived siRNAs exist, or that the RNAi plays a significant role in restricting L1 activity in the human genome. This review will present evidence showing a direct role for RNAi in suppressing the movement of transposable elements in other eukaryotes, as well as speculate on the role RNAi might play in protecting the human genome from LINE-1 activity.

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