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Gene. 1992 Dec 1;122(1):119-28.

Molecular analysis of the yeast Ty4 element: homology with Ty1, copia, and plant retrotransposons.

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  • 1Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Physikalische Biochemie und Zellbiologie, Universität München, Germany.


The element; Ty4 is a retrotransposon present in low copy number in the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae [Stucka et al., Nucleic Acids Res. 17 (1989) 4993-5001]. We have determined the complete nucleotide sequence of one such element from a particular strain and compared it to the other two elements occurring in this strain. The genomic organization of Ty4 is homologous to that found in other retrotransposons of the Ty1-copia group. The internal part of the element contains two large open reading frames (TY4A and TY4B) overlapping by 226 bp in a + 1 mode. TY4A reveals characteristics of the gag portion of retrotransposons and retroviruses, while TY4B consists of a protease, an integrase, a reverse transcriptase, and an RNase H domain (in that order). Our analyses suggest that only one of these copies might be transpositionally active. Sequence comparisons at the amino acid level show that the domains in Ty4 diverge considerably from those of other retrotransposons. The greatest similarity is seen between the reverse transcriptases (50%), the proteases (40%), and the integrases (30%) of Ty4, Ty1/2 and copia, respectively, whereas the degree of similarity for all other entities of these elements is much lower. Considering evolutionary aspects of the retrotransposons, we have to conclude that Ty4 has diverged at an early stage from the progenitors of other known retroelements and represents a novel and independent subgroup of the Ty1-copia class of retrotransposons.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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