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The effects of retrotransposon-derived sequence insertions on gene expression in a model system.

Authors
  • Wells, S G1
  • Miller, K S
  • 1 Faculty of Biological Science, University of Tulsa, OK 74104.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cellular and molecular biology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1992
Volume
38
Issue
2
Pages
159–169
Identifiers
PMID: 1315215
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Retrotransposition has been well documented as a significant source of mutagenesis in diverse eukaryotic organisms, including humans. Insertions of retrotransposons within or in close proximity to transcription units cause many spontaneous mutations, and have been implicated as a source of heritable genetic defects and as a cause of carcinogenesis. The mechanisms by which retrotransposon insertions produce mutant phenotypes are diverse and, in many cases, not fully understood. A model transcriptional system was utilized to test the effects of copia retrotransposon-derived sequence insertions upon gene expression in different cellular environments. The results of these experiments indicate that retrotransposon insertions within nontranslated regions of a transcription unit inhibit gene expression by at least two concurrently acting mechanisms: 1) transcriptional interference due to an active internal promoter and, 2) trans RNA hybridization interactions between transcripts containing complementary retrotransposon sequences.

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