Transposable elements (TEs) are major components of eukaryotic genomes. However, the extent of their impact on genome evolution, function, and disease remain a matter of intense interrogation. The rise of genomics and large-scale functional assays has shed new light on the multi-faceted activities of TEs and implies that they should no longer be marginalized. Here, we introduce the fundamental properties of TEs and their complex interactions with their cellular environment, which are crucial to understanding their impact and manifold consequences for organismal biology. While we draw examples primarily from mammalian systems, the core concepts outlined here are relevant to a broad range of organisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Cell Biology