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Virus Genes. 1995;11(2-3):105-18.

Retroelements: propagation and adaptation.

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John Innes Centre, Colney, Norwich, UK.


Retroelements are genetic entities that exist in both DNA and RNA forms generated by cyclic alternation of transcription and reverse transcription. They have in common a genetic core (the gag-pol core), encoding conserved functions of a structural protein and a replicase. These are supplemented with a variety of cis-acting nucleic acid sequences controlling transcription and reverse transcription. Most retroelements have additional genes with regulatory or adaptive roles, both within the cell and for movement between cells and organisms. These features reflect the variety of mechanisms that have developed to ensure propagation of the elements and their ability to adapt to specific niches in their hosts with which they co-evolve.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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