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Ultraconserved DNA Sequence Elements in the Human Genome

  1. Alison P Lee,
  2. B Venkatesh

Published Online: 30 APR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020842



How to Cite

Lee, A. P. and Venkatesh, B. 2008. Ultraconserved DNA Sequence Elements in the Human Genome. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science Technology and Research, Biopolis, Singapore

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 APR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 APR 2013)


Ultraconserved elements are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences at least 200 base pairs in length and perfectly conserved in human, mouse and rat genomes. These elements are under extreme purifying selection and are implicated in functions such as transcriptional enhancers, exons of noncoding ribonucleic acid (RNA) transcripts and alternatively spliced ‘poison cassette exons’ that regulate the expression of certain classes of proteins.


  • ultraconserved element;
  • human genome;
  • purifying selection;
  • transcriptional enhancer