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    Retrotransposons, including LINE-1, Alu, SVA, and endogenous retroviruses, are one of the major constituents of human genomic repetitive sequences. Through the process of retrotransposition, some of them occasionally insert into new genomic locations by a copy-paste mechanism involving RNA intermediates. Irrespective of de novo genomic insertions, retrotransposon expression can lead to DNA double-strand breaks and stimulate cellular innate immunity through endogenous patterns. As a result, retrotransposons are tightly regulated by multi-layered regulatory processes to prevent the dangerous effects of their expression. In recent years, significant progress was made in revealing how retrotransposon biology intertwines with general post-transcriptional RNA metabolism. Here, I summarize current knowledge on the involvement of post-transcriptional factors in the biology of retrotransposons, focusing on LINE-1. I emphasize general RNA metabolisms such as methylation of adenine (m6 A), RNA 3'-end polyadenylation and uridylation, RNA decay and translation regulation. I discuss the effects of retrotransposon RNP sequestration in cytoplasmic bodies and autophagy. Finally, I summarize how innate immunity restricts retrotransposons and how retrotransposons make use of cellular enzymes, including the DNA repair machinery, to complete their replication cycles. © 2022 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.


    Zbigniew Warkocki. An update on post-transcriptional regulation of retrotransposons. FEBS letters. 2023 Feb;597(3):380-406

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    PMID: 36460901

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