Short Interspersed Nuclear Elements, or SINEs, retrotranspose despite lacking protein-coding capability. It has been proposed that SINEs utilize enzymes produced in trans by Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements, or LINEs. Strong support for this hypothesis is found in LINE and SINE pairs that share sequence homology; however, LINEs and SINEs in primates and rodents are only linked by an insertion site motif. We have now profiled L1 LINE and B1 SINE activity in 24 rodent species including candidate taxa for the first documented L1 extinction. As expected, there was no evidence for recent activity of B1s in species that also lack L1 activity. However, B1 silencing appears to have preceded L1 extinction, since B1 activity is also lacking in the genus most closely related to those lacking active L1s despite the presence of active L1s in this genus. A second genus with active L1s but inactive B1s was also identified.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology