Distinct mechanisms for trans-mediated mobilization of cellular RNAs by the LINE-1 reverse transcriptase

José L Garcia-Perez, Aurélien J Doucet, Alain Bucheton, John V Moran, Nicolas Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long Interspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) sequences comprise approximately 17% of human DNA and ongoing L1 retrotransposition continues to impact genome evolution. The L1-encoded proteins also can mobilize other cellular RNAs (e.g., Alu retrotransposons, SVA retrotransposons, and U6 snRNAs), which comprise approximately 13% of human DNA. Here, we demonstrate that the trans-mediated mobilization of non-L1 RNAs can occur by either template choice or template-switching mechanisms. Remarkably, these mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, as both processes can operate sequentially on the same RNA template. Finally, we provide evidence that efficient U6 snRNA retrotransposition requires both ORF1p and ORF2p, providing indirect evidence for the action of ORF1p in U6 snRNA retrotransposition. Thus, we propose that the LINE-1-encoded reverse transcriptase can mediate the retrotransposition of non-L1 RNAs by distinct mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-11
Number of pages10
JournalGenome Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • Computational Biology
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements
  • RNA
  • RNA, Small Nuclear
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA


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