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Evolutionary History and Impact of Human DNA Transposons

  1. Cédric Feschotte

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020996



How to Cite

Feschotte, C. 2008. Evolutionary History and Impact of Human DNA Transposons. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Texas, Arlington, Texas, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (18 OCT 2013)


Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) transposons are mobile elements that move via a DNA intermediate. The human genome harbours over 300 000 DNA transposon copies, accounting for approximately 3% of the total genomic DNA. Nearly one-third of these elements are specific to the primate lineage, but there is no evidence for transposition activity within the last 40 million years. However, there is growing evidence that DNA transposons have contributed in shaping the current genome architecture of humans and have been a recurrent source of new regulatory and coding DNA throughout mammalian evolution.


  • transposable elements;
  • selfish DNA;
  • noncoding DNA;
  • new genes;
  • genome evolution