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Genomics. 2012 Oct;100(4):222-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2012.07.004. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Characterization and functional annotation of nested transposable elements in eukaryotic genomes.

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Engineering Research Center of South Upland Agriculture, Ministry of Education, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.


The movement of transposable elements (TE) in eukaryotic genomes can often result in the occurrence of nested TEs (the insertion of TEs into pre-existing TEs). We performed a general TE assessment using available databases to detect nested TEs and analyze their characteristics and putative functions in eukaryote genomes. A total of 802 TEs were found to be inserted into 690 host TEs from a total number of 11,329 TEs. We reveal that repetitive sequences are associated with an increased occurrence of nested TEs and sequence biased of TE insertion. A high proportion of the genes which were associated with nested TEs are predicted to localize to organelles and participate in nucleic acid and protein binding. Many of these function in metabolic processes, and encode important enzymes for transposition and integration. Therefore, nested TEs in eukaryotic genomes may negatively influence genome expansion, and enrich the diversity of gene expression or regulation.

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