What is LINE-1 or L1? Long interspersed elements (LINEs) are common components of mammalian genomes. The human genome contains over 500,000 LINE-1 (L1) copies, most of which are 5' truncated. It is estimated that up to 100 L1s are active in the average diploid human genome, whereas ~3000 are potentially active in a diploid mouse genome. Read on to learn more about these fascinating elements.
Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of LINE-1 Retrotransposons
L1 replicates exclusively inside individual cells, involving steps such as transcription, translation, target-primed reverse transcription and integration. Using mammalian cell culture and transgenic mouse as primary systems, we are interested in dissecting mechanisms of L1 retrotransposition, especially host factors involved in genetic and epigenetic regulation of L1 activity and evolutionary dynamics.
Functional Impacts of LINE-1 retrotransposons
L1 is the only active autonomous transposable element in the human genome and it has been replicating in mammals since before the mammalian radiation. We are interested in developing novel mouse models and using them to investigate the impacts of L1 retrotransposition on genomic structure and function. We are particularly interested in the timing of L1 retrotransposition and the corresponding mutational burden during animal development and cancer progression.