A eukaryotic gene family related to retroelement integrases

Xiang Gao, Daniel F. Voytas

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Proteins encoded by mobile genetic elements occasionally assume cellular roles. Telomerase, for example, is a reverse transcriptase that replicates chromosome ends, and Rag1 is a transposase that mediates immunoglobulin gene rearrangements. In this article, we report cellular genes related to integrases that are not associated with a retrovirus or retrotransposon. These integrases are found in diverse eukaryotes and are evolving under functional constraint. We propose that the cellular integrases have assumed a host role and, like their retroelement counterparts, probably function in DNA metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Henry Levin and Weiwu Xie for helpful comments on this article. This work was supported by NIH grant GM61657 to D.F.V.


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