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Gene. 2008 Mar 31;411(1-2):38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2007.12.022. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

The impact of multiple splice sites in human L1 elements.

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  • 1Tulane Cancer Center, SL66, Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, 1430 Tulane Ave., New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


LINE-1 elements represent a significant proportion of mammalian genomes. The impact of their activity on the structure and function of the host genomes has been recognized from the time of their discovery as an endogenous source of insertional mutagenesis. L1 elements contain numerous functional internal polyadenylation signals and splice sites that generate a variety of processed L1 transcripts. These sites are also reported to contribute to the generation of hybrid transcripts between L1 elements and host genes. Using northern blot analysis we demonstrate that L1 splicing, but not L1 polyadenylation, is delayed during the course of L1 expression. L1 splicing can also be negatively regulated by EBV SM protein known to alter this process. These results suggest a potential for L1 mRNA processing to be regulated in a tissue- and/or development-specific manner. The delay in L1 splicing may also serve to protect host genes from the excessive burden of L1 interference with their normal expression via aberrant splicing.

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