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Nat Rev Genet. 2008 May;9(5):397-405. doi: 10.1038/nrg2337.

Transposable elements and the evolution of regulatory networks.

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  • Department of Biology, Life Science Building, BOX 19498, University of Texas, Arlington, Texas 76019, USA. cedric@uta.edu


The control and coordination of eukaryotic gene expression rely on transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory networks. Although progress has been made in mapping the components and deciphering the function of these networks, the mechanisms by which such intricate circuits originate and evolve remain poorly understood. Here I revisit and expand earlier models and propose that genomic repeats, and in particular transposable elements, have been a rich source of material for the assembly and tinkering of eukaryotic gene regulatory systems.

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