Domesticated transposable element gene products in human cancer

University of Iowa
Mobile genetic elements 09/2013; 3(5):e26693. DOI: 10.4161/mge.26693
Source: PubMed


The adaptation of transposable elements inserted within the genome to serve novel functions in a host cell, a process known as molecular domestication, is a widespread phenomenon in nature. Around fifty protein-coding genes in humans have arisen through this mechanism. Functional characterization of these domesticated genes has revealed involvement in a multitude of diverse cellular processes. Some of these functions are related to cellular activities and pathways known to be involved in cancer development. In this mini-review we discuss such roles of domesticated genes that may be aberrantly regulated in human cancer, as well as studies that have identified disrupted expression in tumors. We also describe studies that have provided definitive experimental evidence for transposable element-derived gene products in promoting tumorigenesis.

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Available from: Jesse D Riordan, Nov 05, 2015
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    • "Six SWINGs (~25%) are located in promoter regions (between roughly -2,000 nt and the transcription start site) which could influence gene expression; two of the genes are unknowns, one is an amino acid transporter and the remaining three code for enzymes involved in basal metabolism of amino acids. The emergent idea that transposable elements act as a rapid evolutionary mechanism to wire up genomic regulatory networks is now well accepted (Ellison and Bachtrog 2013) and is known as exaptation or " domestication " of REs into novel cis-regulatory elements (de Souza et al. 2013; Riordan and Dupuy 2013). Since SWING elements are not present in other Ophiostoma spp., we could hypothesize that SWING copies may have evolutionary consequences and drive certain aspects of pathogenicity specifically in "
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