Mammalian retroposons integrate at kinkable DNA sites

J Biomol Struct Dyn. 1998 Feb;15(4):717-21. doi: 10.1080/07391102.1998.10508987.


Integration of retroposed RNA in mammals occurs at staggered breaks resulting from an enzyme-generated pair of nicks at opposite DNA strands, preferably within 15-16 bp. Although consensus sequences associated with the two nicks appear somewhat different from one another, both nicking sites are rich in TA, CA and TG dinucleotide steps which are known as specific DNA sites where kinks may occur under bending constraints. This suggests that during interaction with the endonucleolytic enzyme, or enzymes, DNA undergoes bending at the integration sites and kinks are formed, as initial steps in generating the nicks. Nicking at kinkable sites, particularly at TA steps, may also play a role in integration of other insertion elements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Composition
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*
  • Retroelements / physiology*


  • Retroelements
  • DNA