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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2005;110(1-4):333-41.

Transposable elements donate lineage-specific regulatory sequences to host genomes.

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  • 1National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA.


The evolutionary implications of transposable element (TE) influences on gene regulation are explored here. An historical perspective is presented to underscore the importance of TE influences on gene regulation with respect to both the discovery of TEs and the early conceptualization of their potential impact on host genome evolution. Evidence that points to a role for TEs in host gene regulation is reviewed, and comparisons between genome sequences are used to demonstrate the fact that TEs are particularly lineage-specific components of their host genomes. Consistent with these two properties of TEs, regulatory effects and evolutionary specificity, human-mouse genome wide sequence comparisons reveal that the regulatory sequences that are contributed by TEs are exceptionally lineage specific. This suggests a particular mechanism by which TEs may drive the diversification of gene regulation between evolutionary lineages.

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