What is retrotransposon?

Graham Dellaire popa0206 at PO-Box.McGill.CA
Tue Jul 18 22:24:49 EST 1995

>   BANANA & PLANTAIN <N.C.Pancholi at reading.ac.uk> writes:
>  Hello Netters,
>  Can anybody described in brief retrotransposon?
>  Also, is it possible to use retrotrasnposon mediated fingerprinting to 
>  assess the magnitude of somaclonal variation?
>  Thanks.
>  -Naresh
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Naresh a retroposon is a type of "mobile DNA element" that moves (translocates) via
an RNA intermediate from which it is reverse transcribed and then the DNA copy integrates ectopically
somewhere in the genome.  But these are not retroviral like in that they lack, in general, any IR or LTR's
at there termini and they often have a string of Adenines at there 3' end (hence indicating they have 
been reverse transcribed from mRNA)

Ex are Alu's, THE-1's and Line-1 sequences which can be found in many mammalian species
(although under different naming schemes at times)

Line-1 are around 10 e4-10e5 copies on average in our genome.

As far as using them for fingerprinting sure (like using VNTR's etc but they are big !!)
I can't see why not but perhaps the size of some of them may be prohibitory.
Line-1's for example are 3-6 kb ( depending on if they are full size or truncated)
Alus are smaller on the order of a few hundred bases I believe.

Hope this gets you started...

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