The Ty1 LTRretrotransposon of budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae

M. Joan Curcio, Sheila Lutz, Pascale Lesage

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80 Scopus citations


Long-terminal repeat (LTR)-retrotransposons generate a copy of their DNA (cDNA) by reverse transcription of their RNA genome in cytoplasmic nucleocapsids. They are widespread in the eukaryotic kingdom and are the evolutionary progenitors of retroviruses. The Ty1 element of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was the first LTR-retrotransposon demonstrated to mobilize through an RNA intermediate, and not surprisingly, is the best studied. The depth of our knowledge of Ty1 biology stems not only from the predominance of active Ty1 elements in the S. cerevisiae genome but also the ease and breadth of genomic, biochemical, and cell biology approaches available to study cellular processes in yeast. This review describes the basic structure of Ty1 and its gene products, the replication cycle, the rapidly expanding compendium of host cofactors known to influence retrotransposition, and the nature of Ty1's elaborate symbiosis with its host. Our goal is to illuminate the value of Ty1 as a paradigm to explore the biology of LTR-retrotransposons in multicellular organisms, where the low frequency of retrotransposition events presents a formidable barrier to investigations of retrotransposon biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberMDNA3-0053-2014
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Society for Microbiology.


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