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Genome Biol. 2018 Nov 19;19(1):199. doi: 10.1186/s13059-018-1577-z.

Ten things you should know about transposable elements.

Author information

1
Department of Human Genetics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, H3A 0G1, Canada. guil.bourque@mcgill.ca.
2
Canadian Center for Computational Genomics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, H3A 0G1, Canada. guil.bourque@mcgill.ca.
3
Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA.
4
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02142, USA.
5
Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 14627, USA.
6
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, 11724, USA.
7
Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EH, UK.
8
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, 13125, Berlin, Germany.
9
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
10
Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency and Department of Medical Genetics, University of BC, Vancouver, BC, V5Z1L3, Canada.
11
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14850, USA. cf458@cornell.edu.

Abstract

Transposable elements (TEs) are major components of eukaryotic genomes. However, the extent of their impact on genome evolution, function, and disease remain a matter of intense interrogation. The rise of genomics and large-scale functional assays has shed new light on the multi-faceted activities of TEs and implies that they should no longer be marginalized. Here, we introduce the fundamental properties of TEs and their complex interactions with their cellular environment, which are crucial to understanding their impact and manifold consequences for organismal biology. While we draw examples primarily from mammalian systems, the core concepts outlined here are relevant to a broad range of organisms.

PMID:
30454069
PMCID:
PMC6240941
DOI:
10.1186/s13059-018-1577-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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