Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINEs)


Long interspersed nuclear elements are non‐long terminal repeat retrotransposons that have reached a high copy number in the human genome by a ‘copy‐and‐paste’ mechanism of replication.

Keywords: non‐LTR retrotransposons; L1 element; junk DNA; insertional mutagenesis

Figure 1.

Structure of a full‐length human LINE1 element: TSD, variable length target site duplication; 5′ UTR, 5′ untranslated region; ORF1, first open reading frame; Lz, a putative leucine zipper domain encoded by the ORF1 gene, which may be important for protein–protein interactions; IGS, intergenic spacer region; ORF2, second open reading frame; EN, endonuclease domain; RT, reverse transcriptase domain; ZN, putative zinc knuckle motif; 3′ UTR, 3′ untranslated region; GrPPT, guanosine‐rich polypurine tract, of unknown function; AATAAA, hexanucleotide poly(A) signal; An, in humans the poly(A) tract abuts the hexanucleotide signal.



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Further Reading

Furano AV (2000) The biological properties and evolutionary dynamics of mammalian LINE‐1 retrotransposons. Progress in Nucleic Acids Research and Molecular Biology 64: 255–294.

Hutchison III CA, Hardies SC, Loeb DD, Shehee WR and Edgell MH (1989) LINEs and related retrotransposons: long interspersed repeated sequences in the eukaryotic genome. In: Berg DE and Howe MM (eds.) Mobile DNA, pp. 593–617. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology.

Jurka J (1998) Repeats in genomic DNA: mining and meaning. Current Opinion in Structural Biology 8: 333–337.

Mears ML and Hutchison III CA (2001) The evolution of modern lineages of mouse L1 elements. Journal of Molecular Evolution 52: 51–62.

Moran JV and Gilbert N (2002) LINE‐1 retrotransposons and related elements. In: Craig NL, Craigie R, Gellert M and Lambowith A (eds.) Mobile DNA II. Washington, DC: American Society of Microbiology.

Smit AFA (1999) Interspersed repeats and other mementos of transposable elements in mammalian genomes. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 9: 657–663.

Web Links

GIRI: Genetic Information Research Institute http://www.girinst.org/

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Goodier, John, and Kazazian, Haig H(Sep 2005) Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINEs). In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005061]