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Curr Opin Virol. 2013 Dec;3(6):639-45. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2013.09.002. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

Alu elements: an intrinsic source of human genome instability.

Author information

1
Tulane University, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane Cancer Center, Consortium of Mobile Elements at Tulane, United States.

Abstract

Alu elements are ∼300bp sequences that have amplified via an RNA intermediate leading to the accumulation of over 1 million copies in the human genome. Although a few of the copies are active, Alu germline activity is the highest of all human retrotransposons and does significantly contribute to genetic disease and population diversity. There are two basic mechanisms by which Alu elements contribute to disease: through insertional mutagenesis and as a large source of repetitive sequences that contribute to nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) that cause genetic deletions and duplications.

PMID:
24080407
PMCID:
PMC3982648
DOI:
10.1016/j.coviro.2013.09.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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