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Keywords:

  • LINE-1;
  • retrotransposon;
  • 3′ transduction;
  • dystrophin;
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Abstract

Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposons comprise 17% of the human genome, and move by a potentially mutagenic “copy and paste” mechanism via an RNA intermediate. Recently, the retrotransposition-mediated insertion of a new transcript was described as a novel cause of genetic disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, in a Japanese male. The inserted sequence was presumed to derive from a single-copy, noncoding RNA transcribed from chromosome 11q22.3 that retrotransposed into the dystrophin gene. Here, we demonstrate that a nonreference full-length LINE-1 is situated in the proband and maternal genome at chromosome 11q22.3, directly upstream of the sequence, whose copy was inserted into the dystrophin gene. This LINE-1 is highly active in a cell culture assay. LINE-1 insertions are often associated with 3′ transduction of adjacent genomic sequences. Thus, the likely explanation for the mutagenic insertion is a LINE-1-mediated 3′ transduction with severe 5′ truncation. This is the first example of LINE-1-induced human disease caused by an “orphan” 3′ transduction. Hum Mutat 33:369–371, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.