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Front Cell Dev Biol. 2016 Mar 7;4:14. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2016.00014. eCollection 2016.

Post-Transcriptional Control of LINE-1 Retrotransposition by Cellular Host Factors in Somatic Cells.

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Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging of Nice (IRCAN), Faculty of Medicine, CNRS UMR7284, INSERM U1081, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis Nice, France.


Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) retrotransposons form the only autonomously active family of transposable elements in humans. They are expressed and mobile in the germline, in embryonic stem cells and in the early embryo, but are silenced in most somatic tissues. Consistently, they play an important role in individual genome variations through insertional mutagenesis and sequence transduction, which occasionally lead to novel genetic diseases. In addition, they are reactivated in nearly half of the human epithelial cancers, contributing to tumor genome dynamics. The L1 element codes for two proteins, ORF1p and ORF2p, which are essential for its mobility. ORF1p is an RNA-binding protein with nucleic acid chaperone activity and ORF2p possesses endonuclease and reverse transcriptase activities. These proteins and the L1 RNA assemble into a ribonucleoprotein particle (L1 RNP), considered as the core of the retrotransposition machinery. The L1 RNP mediates the synthesis of new L1 copies upon cleavage of the target DNA and reverse transcription of the L1 RNA at the target site. The L1 element takes benefit of cellular host factors to complete its life cycle, however several cellular pathways also limit the cellular accumulation of L1 RNPs and their deleterious activities. Here, we review the known cellular host factors and pathways that regulate positively or negatively L1 retrotransposition at post-transcriptional level, in particular by interacting with the L1 machinery or L1 replication intermediates; and how they contribute to control L1 activity in somatic cells.


LINE-1; genome evolution; repeated sequences; retrotransposition; retrotransposon; structural variation (SV)

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