, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 239-248

First online:

Sectorial mutagenesis by transposable elements

  • Jerzy JurkaAffiliated withGenetic Information Research Institute
  • , Vladimir V. KapitonovAffiliated withGenetic Information Research Institute

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Transposable elements (TEs) generate insertions and cause other mutations in the genomic DNA. It is proposed that during co-evolution between TEs and eukaryotic genomes, an optimal path of the insertion mutagenesis is determined by the surviving TEs. These TEs can become semi-permanently established, chromatin-regulated ‘source’ or ‘mutator genes’, responsible for targeting insertion mutations to specific chromosomal regions. Such mutations can manifest themselves in non-random distribution patterns of interspersed repeats in eukaryotic chromosomes. In this paper we discuss specific models, examples and implications of optimized mutagenesis in eukaryotes.

transposable elements repetitive DNA mutagenesis chromosomal evolution