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Hancks D.C.,University of Pennsylvania | Hancks D.C.,McKusick Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine | Goodier J.L.,McKusick Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine | Mandal P.K.,McKusick Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2011

Human retrotransposons generate structural variation and genomic diversity through ongoing retrotransposition and non-allelic homologous recombination. Cell culture retrotransposition assays have provided great insight into the genomic impact of retrotransposons, in particular, LINE-1(L1) and Alu elements; however, no such assay exists for the youngest active human retrotransposon, SINE-VNTR-Alu (SVA). Here we report the development of an SVA cell culture retrotransposition assay. We marked several SVAs with either neomycin or EGFP retrotransposition indicator cassettes. Engineered SVAs retrotranspose using L1 proteins supplemented in trans in multiple cell lines, including U2OS osteosarcoma cells where SVA retrotransposition is equal to that of an engineered L1. Engineered SVAs retrotranspose at 1-54 times the frequency of a marked pseudogene in HeLa HA cells. Furthermore, our data suggest a variable requirement for L1 ORF1p for SVA retrotransposition. Recovered engineered SVA insertions display all the hallmarks of LINE-1 retrotransposition and some contain 5′ and 3′ transductions, which are common for genomic SVAs. Of particular interest is the fact that four out of five insertions recovered from one SVA are full-length, with the 5′ end of these insertions beginning within 5 nt of the CMV promoter transcriptional start site. This assay demonstrates that SVA elements are indeed mobilized in trans by L1. Previously intractable questions regarding SVA biology can now be addressed. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Yadav V.P.,Jawaharlal Nehru University | Mandal P.K.,Jawaharlal Nehru University | Mandal P.K.,McKusick Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine | Bhattacharya A.,Jawaharlal Nehru University | Bhattacharya S.,Jawaharlal Nehru University
Nature Communications | Year: 2012

Non-long terminal repeat Retrotransposons are referred to as long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) and their non-autonomous partners are short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs). It is believed that an active SINE copy, upon retrotransposition, generates near identical copies of itself, which subsequently accumulate mutations resulting in sequence polymorphism. Here we show that when a retrotransposition-competent cell line of the parasitic protist Entamoeba histolytica, transfected with a marked SINE copy, is induced to retrotranspose, >20% of the newly retrotransposed copies are neither identical to the marked SINE nor to the mobilized resident SINEs. Rather they are recombinants of resident SINEs and the marked SINE. They are a consequence of retrotransposition and not DNA recombination, as they are absent in cells not expressing the retrotransposition functions. This high-frequency recombination provides a new explanation for the existence of mosaic SINEs, which may impact on genetic analysis of SINE lineages, and measurement of phylogenetic distances. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Baetens M.,Ghent University | Van Laer L.,University of Antwerp | De Leeneer K.,Ghent University | Hellemans J.,Ghent University | And 11 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2011

The Marfan (MFS) and Loeys-Dietz (LDS) syndromes are caused by mutations in the fibrillin-1 (FBN1) and Transforming Growth Factor Beta Receptor 1 and 2 (TGFBR1 and TGFBR2) genes, respectively. With the current conventional mutation screening technologies, analysis of this set of genes is time consuming and expensive. We have tailored a cost-effective and reliable mutation discovery strategy using multiplex PCR followed by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). In a first stage, genomic DNA from five MFS or LDS patient samples with previously identified mutations and/or polymorphisms in FBN1 and TGFBR1 and 2 were analyzed and revealed all expected variants. In a second stage, we validated the technique on 87 samples from MFS patients fulfilling the Ghent criteria. This resulted in the identification of 75 FBN1 mutations, of which 67 were unique. Subsequent Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) analysis of the remaining negative samples identified four large deletions/insertions. Finally, Sanger sequencing identified a missense mutation in FBN1 exon 1 that was not included in the NGS workflow. In total, there was an overall mutation identification rate of 92%, which is in agreement with data published previously. We conclude that multiplex PCR of all coding exons of FBN1 and TGFBR1/2 followed by NGS analysis and MLPA is a robust strategy for time- and cost-effective identification of mutations. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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