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Mol Cells. 2012 Dec;34(6):509-16. doi: 10.1007/s10059-012-0242-8. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

Impact of retrotransposons in pluripotent stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Yale Stem Cell Center, Yale School of Medicine, 10 Amistad, 201B, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Retrotransposons, which constitute approximately 40% of the human genome, have the capacity to 'jump' across the genome. Their mobility contributes to oncogenesis, evolution, and genomic plasticity of the host genome. Induced pluripotent stem cells as well as embryonic stem cells are more susceptible than differentiated cells to genomic aberrations including insertion, deletion and duplication. Recent studies have revealed specific behaviors of retrotransposons in pluripotent cells. Here, we review recent progress in understanding retrotransposons and provide a perspective on the relationship between retrotransposons and genomic variation in pluripotent stem cells.

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