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tRNA genes in eukaryotic genome organization and reorganization

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Simon Whitehall



T he primary function of tRNA genes is to provide the templates for the transcription of essential tRNA molecules. However, there is now evidence that these dispersed repetitive elements have the potential to mediate the spatial and functional organization of the genome and to drive genome change and evolution. Indeed, tRNA genes and related Pol III promoter elements can occupy distinct subnuclear positions and also provide barriers which functionally separate domains of chromatin. Furthermore, tRNA genes can also represent barriers to DNA replication fork progression and accordingly, tRNA genes can contribute to the formation of genomic fragile sites and have been implicated in genome evolution. Here we give insight into our current understanding of these "extra transcriptional" functions of tRNA genes and discuss how these functions may impact upon genome regulation and evolution.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McFarlane RJ, Whitehall SK

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cell Cycle

Year: 2009

Volume: 8

Issue: 19

Pages: 3102-3106

Date deposited: 24/11/2010

ISSN (print): 1538-4101

ISSN (electronic): 1551-4005

Publisher: Landes Bioscience


DOI: 10.4161/cc.8.19.9625


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