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Genome. 1989;31(2):909-19.

The biology and exploitation of the retrotransposon Ty in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Bionetics Research Inc., National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, MD 21701.


Retrotransposons are a widely distributed group of eukaryotic mobile genetic elements that transpose through an RNA intermediate. The element is transcribed into RNA, and this RNA is reverse transcribed into a DNA copy capable of insertion into many different chromosomal locations. Maturation of proteins and reverse transcription take place within noninfectious intracellular viruslike particles. We have studied the element Ty, which is found dispersed in the genome of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The frequency of Ty element transposition is normally quite low but can be greatly increased by expressing an element from a strong promoter. We have used the ability to control the level of Ty transposition to investigate the functions of Ty proteins, the regulation of Ty transposition, and the exploitation of Ty elements as insertional mutagens in yeast. The information gained from these experiments should be applicable to the study of retrotransposons found in multicellular organisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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