, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 50-57

CAN—a pan-carnivore SINE family

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Abstract

Short retroposons or short interspersed elements (SINEs) constituting 5–10% genome have been isolated from various organisms. CAN SINEs initially found in American mink were named after dogs (Canis), and the range of their distribution in the genomes of carnivores and mammals in general remained topical. Here we demonstrate CAN sequences in representatives of all carnivore families, but not beyond carnivores, on the basis of sequence bank search and genomic PCR. Analysis of their distribution supports division of carnivores into caniform (dogs, mustelids, raccoons, bears, and pinnipeds) and feliform (cats, civets, and hyenas) lineages. CAN structure is considered in the context of their function and evolution.

Received: 13 July 2001 / Accepted: 18 September 2001