The most common dispersed, repeated DNA sequence in the human genome. There are at least 750,000 Alu elements, each consisting of about 300 base pairs, accounting for 11% of human DNA. Each element is made up of two 130 base pair sequences joined head to tail with a 32 base pair insert in the right-hand monomer. Alu sequences are targeted by cohesins (q.v.). The family name is derived from the fact that these sequences are cleaved by restriction endonuclease Alu I. See human gene maps, repetitious DNA.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.