Towards Understanding Functional Significance of a Great Many of Solitary LTRs in the Human Genome

Eugene D. Sverdlov
Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russ. Acad. Sci
Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10
117871 Moscow Russia
telephone: +7 095 3306529
fax: +7 095 3306538
prestype: Platform
presenter: Eugene D. Sverdlov

T. Vinogradova, L. Nikolaev, Y. Lebedev, G. Monastyrskaya, E. Sverdlov
Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russ. Acad. Sci; Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10; 117871 Moscow Russia

The human genome contains tens of thousands of remnants of ancient retroviral infections including solitary retroviral LTRs. The LTRs retain structural elements of enhancers, promoters, polyadenylation signals etc. thus being potential transcription regulators. The involvement of LTRs in transcription is usually considered in connection with neighboring genes regulation. However, many of the LTRs are localized very far from any known or predicted genes. We are interested in possible functions of such "orphan" LTRs in the genome regulatory network. Using a number of different approaches we have demonstrated that various solitary LTRs are characterized by different tissue specific abilities to initiate or terminate transcription of adjacent genomic areas. Their activity is changed in tumor tissues as compared to normal ones. The transcriptional regulation activity of evolutionary younger LTRs tends to be higher than that of older LTRs. The meaning of these findings will be discussed from the point of view of the "orphan" LTRs involvement in the genome functioning.

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