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Hum Mutat. 2012 Feb;33(2):369-71. doi: 10.1002/humu.21663. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Pathogenic orphan transduction created by a nonreference LINE-1 retrotransposon.

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McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposons comprise 17% of the human genome, and move by a potentially mutagenic "copy and paste" mechanism via an RNA intermediate. Recently, the retrotransposition-mediated insertion of a new transcript was described as a novel cause of genetic disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, in a Japanese male. The inserted sequence was presumed to derive from a single-copy, noncoding RNA transcribed from chromosome 11q22.3 that retrotransposed into the dystrophin gene. Here, we demonstrate that a nonreference full-length LINE-1 is situated in the proband and maternal genome at chromosome 11q22.3, directly upstream of the sequence, whose copy was inserted into the dystrophin gene. This LINE-1 is highly active in a cell culture assay. LINE-1 insertions are often associated with 3' transduction of adjacent genomic sequences. Thus, the likely explanation for the mutagenic insertion is a LINE-1-mediated 3' transduction with severe 5' truncation. This is the first example of LINE-1-induced human disease caused by an "orphan" 3' transduction.

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