Mermaid: a family of short interspersed repetitive elements widespread in vertebrates

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1996 Mar 7;220(1):226-32. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1996.0385.


We have discovered a family of short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs) that are present in the genomes of fish, amphibian and primates. The family of the SINEs, designated mermaid, is distinctive in each species except for a conserved region of approximately 80 bp. Some members of the mermaid family were found in transposon-like repetitive elements, including Tcl-like elements which were also distributed in the genomes of fish and amphibian. This raises the possibility of horizontal transfer of the mermaid family between vertebrates via transposons.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amphibians / genetics
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Fishes / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Primates / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Vertebrates / genetics*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA Transposable Elements

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D78161
  • GENBANK/D78162
  • GENBANK/D78163
  • GENBANK/D78164