L1 retrotransposition in nondividing and primary human somatic cells

Shuji Kubo, Maria Del Carmen Seleme, Harris S Soifer, José Luis Garcia Perez, John V Moran, Haig H Kazazian, Noriyuki Kasahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whether long interspersed element-1 (L1 or LINE-1) retrotransposition can occur in quiescent, nondividing, and/or terminally differentiated somatic cells has remained an unanswered fundamental question in human genetics. Here, we used a ubiquitously active phosphoglycerate kinase-1 promoter to drive the expression of a highly active human L1 element from an adenovirus-L1 hybrid vector. This vector system achieved retrotransposition in up to 91% of actively growing immortalized cells, and we demonstrated that L1 retrotransposition can be suppressed by the reverse transcriptase inhibitor 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine. This adenovirus vector enabled efficient delivery of the L1 element into differentiated primary human somatic cells and G1/S-arrested cells, resulting in retrotransposition in both cases; however, it was not detected in G0-arrested cells. Thus, these data indicate that L1 retrotransposition can occur in nondividing somatic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8036-41
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenoviridae
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphoglycerate Kinase
  • Retroelements
  • Transfection


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