An RNA polymerase III subunit determines sites of retrotransposon integration

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 585-588
DOI: 10.1126/science.1259114

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Keeping jumping genes out of harm's way

The genomes of most eukaryotes, including our own, are jam-packed with parasitic mobile DNA elements. Most are nonfunctional remnants, but a few are still active, capable of jumping about in our DNA, potentially causing serious damage to our genes. Nevertheless, they avoid landing in and disrupting coding regions. For example, in yeast, the retrotransposon Ty1 is targeted away from protein genes to positions upstream of yeast RNA polymerase III genes. Bridier-Nahmias et al. show that Ty1 is targeted to these “safe havens” through an interaction between a Ty1-encoded protein that controls its genome jumping activity and a subunit of the yeast RNA polymerase III complex.

Science, this issue p. 585

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