Retrotransposon contribution to genomic plasticity

Tara T. Doucet-O’Hare, Haig Kazazian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Genomic instability is strongly linked to the development and malignancy of cancer, and by studying premalignant conditions we can gain a better understanding of the sources of genomic instability and improve cancer prevention and treatment. The genome is very unstable in both premalignant and malignant conditions; however, it is unknown as to what extent different types of instability contribute. Retrotransposition is an active source of genomic instability in the human genome and has the potential to change DNA structure and RNA expression. Retrotransposons are repetitive sequences that can “copy and paste” into the genome at new sites within an individual cell, and hundreds are known to be active in the human genome. Despite the enormous influence of retrotransposons on the genome composition of many organisms, the degree to which they contribute to somatic genomic instability is unknown. In order to review the current evidence supporting the activity of retrotransposons in the human genome and their contribution to various diseases we will introduce results from many studies in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman Retrotransposons in Health and Disease
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9783319483443
ISBN (Print)9783319483436
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Disease
  • Evolution
  • Genomic plasticity
  • Retrotransposition
  • Retrotransposon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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