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Gene. 1993 Oct 29;133(1):71-8.

Structures of the Euplotes crassus Tec1 and Tec2 elements: identification of putative transposase coding regions.

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Department of Cell, Molecular and Structural Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611.


The Tec1 and Tec2 transposon-like element families of Euplotes crassus are highly unusual in that all 30,000 copies of each family are excised from the genome during a discrete time period of macronuclear development. Complete nucleotide sequences were generated for the Tec1-1 and Tec2-1 elements, representing the Tec1 and Tec2 families. Open reading frames (ORFs) are conserved in position and sequence between the two elements, although sequences that comprise one ORF (ORF2) of Tec1-1 are split into two overlapping ORFs (ORFs 2A and 2B) in Tec2-1. ORF1 in Tec1-1, its homolog in Tec2-1 and one of the overlapping ORFs from Tec2-1 (ORF2B) contain TGA codons, which may be translated as Cys, as observed for two other Euplotid genes. Sequence analyses of ORFs from other members of each element family indicate that the families are distinct from each other and are highly conserved within each family. Computer searches of sequence databases have revealed sequence similarity between Tec ORF1s and the previously described Tc1-IS630 family of transposases which includes ORFs from bacterial, nematode and insect transposons.

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