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Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;27(4):1264-70. Epub 2006 Dec 4.

Cell divisions are required for L1 retrotransposition.

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  • 1University of Rochester, 213 Hutchison Hall, River Campus, Rochester, NY 14627-0211, USA.

Abstract

LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons comprise a large fraction of genomic DNAs of many organisms. Many L1 elements are active and may generate potentially deleterious mutations by inserting into genes, yet little is known about the control of retrotransposition by the host. Here we examined whether retrotransposition depends on the cell cycle by using a retrotransposition assay with cultured human cells. We show that in both cancer cells and primary human fibroblasts, retrotransposition was strongly inhibited in the cells arrested in the G(1), S, G(2), or M stage of the cell cycle. Retrotransposition was also inhibited during cellular senescence in primary human fibroblasts. The levels of L1 transcripts were strongly reduced in arrested cells, suggesting that the reduction in L1 transcript abundance limits retrotransposition in nondividing cells. We hypothesize that inhibition of retrotransposition in nondividing cells protects somatic tissues from accumulation of deleterious mutations caused by L1 elements.

PMID:
17145770
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1800731
Free PMC Article
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