Transposable elements (TEs) are ubiquitous genetic elements, able to jump from one location of the genome to another, in all organisms. For this reason, on the one hand, TEs can induce deleterious mutations, causing dysfunction, disease and even lethality in individuals. On the other hand, TEs can increase genetic variability, making populations better equipped to respond adaptively to environmental change. To counteract the deleterious effects of TEs, organisms have evolved strategies to avoid their activation. However, their mobilization does occur. Usually, TEs are maintained silent through several mechanisms, but they can be reactivated during certain developmental windows. Moreover, TEs can become de-repressed because of drastic changes in the external environment. Here, we describe the ‘double life’ of TEs, being both ‘parasites’ and ‘symbionts’ of the genome. We also argue that the transposition of TEs contributes to two important evolutionary processes: the temporal dynamic of evolution and the induction of genetic variability. Finally, we discuss how the interplay between two TE-dependent phenomena, insertional mutagenesis and epigenetic plasticity, plays a role in the process of evolution.

Transposable Elements: Major Players in Shaping Genomic and Evolutionary Patterns / Colonna Romano, N.; Fanti, L.. - In: CELLS. - ISSN 2073-4409. - 11:6(2022), pp. 1-21. [10.3390/cells11061048]

Transposable Elements: Major Players in Shaping Genomic and Evolutionary Patterns

Colonna Romano N.;Fanti L.
2022

Abstract

Transposable elements (TEs) are ubiquitous genetic elements, able to jump from one location of the genome to another, in all organisms. For this reason, on the one hand, TEs can induce deleterious mutations, causing dysfunction, disease and even lethality in individuals. On the other hand, TEs can increase genetic variability, making populations better equipped to respond adaptively to environmental change. To counteract the deleterious effects of TEs, organisms have evolved strategies to avoid their activation. However, their mobilization does occur. Usually, TEs are maintained silent through several mechanisms, but they can be reactivated during certain developmental windows. Moreover, TEs can become de-repressed because of drastic changes in the external environment. Here, we describe the ‘double life’ of TEs, being both ‘parasites’ and ‘symbionts’ of the genome. We also argue that the transposition of TEs contributes to two important evolutionary processes: the temporal dynamic of evolution and the induction of genetic variability. Finally, we discuss how the interplay between two TE-dependent phenomena, insertional mutagenesis and epigenetic plasticity, plays a role in the process of evolution.
2022
Environmental stress; Epigenetics; Evolution; Transposable elements; Genomics; Humans; Mutagenesis, Insertional; DNA Transposable Elements; Evolution, Molecular
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
Transposable Elements: Major Players in Shaping Genomic and Evolutionary Patterns / Colonna Romano, N.; Fanti, L.. - In: CELLS. - ISSN 2073-4409. - 11:6(2022), pp. 1-21. [10.3390/cells11061048]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1641284
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