Journal Article

Ribonucleoprotein particle formation is necessary but not sufficient for LINE-1 retrotransposition

Deanna A. Kulpa and John V. Moran

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 14, issue 21, pages 3237-3248
Published in print November 2005 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddi354
Ribonucleoprotein particle formation is necessary but not sufficient for LINE-1 retrotransposition

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Long interspersed elements (LINE-1s or L1s) are abundant non-LTR retrotransposons that mobilize through an RNA intermediate by target site primed reverse transcription. The L1-encoded proteins (ORF1p and ORF2p) preferentially associate with their encoding transcript to form a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP), which is a proposed retrotransposition intermediate. Here, we have used epitope tagging to discriminate the proteins encoded by engineered L1s from those encoded by endogenously expressed L1s. We demonstrate that an L1 containing an epitope tag at the carboxyl terminus of ORF1p remains retrotransposition-competent and that tagged ORF1p and its encoding RNA localize to cytoplasmic RNPs. We also identified two classes of ORF1p mutants, one that severely decreased RNP formation and blocked retrotransposition, and another that allows RNP formation but reduces retrotransposition by 100-fold. Thus, these data indicate that RNP formation is important but not sufficient for L1 retrotransposition and suggest that ORF1p also may function at downstream steps in the L1 retrotransposition pathway.

Journal Article.  8980 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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