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Transduplication resulted in the incorporation of two protein-coding sequences into the Turmoil-1 transposable element of C. elegans

Noa Sela1, Adi Stern2, Wojciech Makalowski3, Tal Pupko2 and Gil Ast1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

2 Department of Cell Research and Immunology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

3 Institute of Bioinformatics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Muenster, Muenster D-48149, Germany

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Biology Direct 2008, 3:41  doi:10.1186/1745-6150-3-41

Published: 8 October 2008


Transposable elements may acquire unrelated gene fragments into their sequences in a process called transduplication. Transduplication of protein-coding genes is common in plants, but is unknown of in animals. Here, we report that the Turmoil-1 transposable element in C. elegans has incorporated two protein-coding sequences into its inverted terminal repeat (ITR) sequences. The ITRs of Turmoil-1 contain a conserved RNA recognition motif (RRM) that originated from the rsp-2 gene and a fragment from the protein-coding region of the cpg-3 gene. We further report that an open reading frame specific to C. elegans may have been created as a result of a Turmoil-1 insertion. Mutations at the 5' splice site of this open reading frame may have reactivated the transduplicated RRM motif.


This article was reviewed by Dan Graur and William Martin. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' Reports section.