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Cell. 2002 Nov 1;111(3):433-44.

LINEs mobilize SINEs in the eel through a shared 3' sequence.

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Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.


We characterized members of the LINE (UnaL2) and SINE (UnaSINE1) families from the eel genome and found that these LINE/SINE partners share similar 3' tails. A retrotransposition assay in HeLa cells demonstrated that the 3' conserved tail of UnaL2 is necessary for its retrotransposition. This 3' tail is recognized in trans by the UnaL2 reverse transcriptase at a surprisingly high rate, and that of UnaSINE1 can also be recognized, thus providing experimental evidence that a SINE can be mobilized by the retrotransposition machinery of a partner LINE. We also demonstrated that short repeats at the 3' end of UnaL2 are required for retrotransposition suggesting that UnaL2 retrotransposes in a manner reminiscent of the reverse transcriptase activity of telomerases.

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