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Parasitology. 2011 Aug;138(9):1124-33. doi: 10.1017/S0031182011000886. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Curupira-1 and Curupira-2, two novel Mutator-like DNA transposons from the genomes of human parasites Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum.

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Departamento de Física e Informática, Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo, 13566-590 São Carlos, SP, Brazil.


Transposons of the Mutator superfamily have been widely described in plants, but only recently have metazoan organisms been shown to harbour them. In this work we describe novel Mutator superfamily transposons from the genomes of the human parasites Schistosoma mansoni and S. japonicum, which we name Curupira-1 and Curupira-2. Curupira elements do not have Terminal Inverted Repeats (TIRs) at their extremities and generate Target Site Duplications (TSDs) of 9 base pairs. Curupira-2 transposons code for a conserved transposase and SWIM zinc finger domains, while Curupira-1 elements comprise these same domains plus a WRKY zinc finger. Alignment of transcript sequences from both elements back to the genomes indicates that they are subject to splicing to produce mature transcripts. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that these transposons represent a new lineage of metazoan Mutator-like elements with characteristics that are distinct from the recently described Phantom elements. Description of these novel schistosome transposons provides new insights in the evolution of transposable elements in schistosomes.

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