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.
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