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Nucleic Acids Res. 1987 Nov 11;15(21):8725-37.

A novel human nonviral retroposon derived from an endogenous retrovirus.

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Department of Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, Kanagawa, Japan.


In a human genome, we found dispersed repetitive sequences homologous to part of a human endogenous retrovirus termed HERV-K which resembled mouse mammary tumor virus. For elucidation of their structure and organization, we cloned some of these sequences from a human gene library. The sequence common to the cloned DNA was ca. 630 base-pairs (bp) in length with an A-rich tail at the 3' end and was found to be a SINE (short interspersed repeated sequence) type nonviral retroposon. In this retroposon, the 5' end had multiple copies of a 40 bp direct repeat very rich in GC content and about the next 510 nucleotides were homologous to the 3' long terminal repeat and its upstream flanking region of the HERV-K genome. This retroposon was thus given the name, SINE-R element since most of it derived from a retrovirus. SINE-R elements were present at 4,000 to 5,000 copies per haploid human genome. The nucleotide sequence was ca. 90% homologous among the cloned elements.

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