Identification of a potential RNA intermediate for transposition of the LINE-like element I factor in Drosophila melanogaster

EMBO J. 1990 Nov;9(11):3557-63.


The I factor, a transposable element related to mammalian LINEs, controls the I-R system of hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila melanogaster. It transposes at high frequency in the germ-line of the female progeny of crosses between females of the reactive class of strains and males of the inducer class. The structure and DNA sequence of the I factor suggest that it transposes by reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate. Northern blot and S1 mapping experiments show that a full-length RNA of the I factor is synthesized specifically in the conditions of which I factors transpose. This RNA has all characteristics of a transposition intermediate. It is only found in the ovaries of dysgenic females suggesting that I factor activity is restricted to this tissue because of regulation at the level of the initiation of transcription or RNA stability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes
  • Heterochromatin
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Infertility, Female / genetics
  • Infertility, Female / veterinary
  • Ovary / physiology
  • Poly A / metabolism
  • RNA / genetics*
  • RNA Splicing
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Heterochromatin
  • Poly A
  • RNA