Nucleotide sequence characterization of a Drosophila retrotransposon, 412


Correspondence to K. Saigo, Department of Biochemistry, Kyushu University 60 School of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan 812


The nucleotide sequence of the internal region of a Drosophila retrotransposon. 412, was determined. The genome of 412 was found to consist of two long open-reading frames (ORFs 1 and 2), an unusually long putative leader region and long terminal repeats (LTRs). As with 17.6, 297 and gypsy, ORFs 1 and 2 slightly overlap each other and are out of phase by +2. ORF2 includes the nucleotide sequences coding for the putative protease, reverse transcriptase and integrase, and is similar in entire organization to the pol gene of Moloney murine leukaemia virus. In spite of the difference in insertion specificity, integrase, an enzyme presumably responsible for insertion, was found to be similar in amino acid sequence to the counterparts of 17.6, 297 and gypsy. There is no ORF in 412 which corresponds to retroviral env or ORF3s of 17.6 and 297. Analysis of 412 transcripts suggested that 412 LTR is composed of U3, R and U5. The gene for a potential primer tRNA for putative reverse transcription of 412 was also surveyed and the 3′-terminal 15 nucleotides of a putative arginine tRNA were found to be exactly complementary to the putative primer-binding site of 412.


open reading frame


long terminal repeat


Moloney murine leukemia virus