Send to

Choose Destination
Gene. 2003 Aug 14;313:201-12.

Vertebrate helentrons and other novel Helitrons.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Helitrons, a novel class of eukaryote mobile genetic elements, are distinguished from other transposable elements by encoding a 'rolling circle' replication (RCR) protein (Rep) and a helicase. Helitrons have recently been described from Arabidopsis, rice and the nematode Caenorhabditis. We now report the discovery of Helitron-like elements in vertebrates, specifically in the genomes of the fish Danio rerio and Sphoeroides nephelus. We also describe Helitrons from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and from the Anopheles genome. Many of the fish Helitrons have an uncorrupted open reading frame encoding both the RCR Rep protein and a helicase. These fish elements are of particular interest because they also encode, within the single open reading frame, an apurinic-apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease most closely related to those of certain non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons. As they invariably carry an endonuclease and also form a very distinct clade, we have named these vertebrate elements 'helentrons'. It is likely that these helentrons are still active.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center