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Nat Rev Genet. 2017 May;18(5):292-308. doi: 10.1038/nrg.2017.7. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

Integration site selection by retroviruses and transposable elements in eukaryotes.

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Université Côte d'Azur, INSERM, CNRS, IRCAN, 28 Ave de Valombrose, 06107 Nice Cedex 02, France.
Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris Diderot, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U944, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Unité Mixte de Recherche 7212, Institut Universitaire d'Hématologie, Hôpital St. Louis, 1 Ave Claude Vellefaux, 75010 Paris, France.
Laboratoire Pathologie et Virologie Moléculaire, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, 292 Rue Saint-Martin, 75003 Paris, France.


Transposable elements and retroviruses are found in most genomes, can be pathogenic and are widely used as gene-delivery and functional genomics tools. Exploring whether these genetic elements target specific genomic sites for integration and how this preference is achieved is crucial to our understanding of genome evolution, somatic genome plasticity in cancer and ageing, host-parasite interactions and genome engineering applications. High-throughput profiling of integration sites by next-generation sequencing, combined with large-scale genomic data mining and cellular or biochemical approaches, has revealed that the insertions are usually non-random. The DNA sequence, chromatin and nuclear context, and cellular proteins cooperate in guiding integration in eukaryotic genomes, leading to a remarkable diversity of insertion site distribution and evolutionary strategies.

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