G-quadruplex structures within the 3' UTR of LINE-1 elements stimulate retrotransposition.
Sahakyan AB., Murat P., Mayer C., Balasubramanian S.
Long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) are ubiquitous transposable elements in higher eukaryotes that have a significant role in shaping genomes, owing to their abundance. Here we report that guanine-rich sequences in the 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) of hominoid-specific LINE-1 elements are coupled with retrotransposon speciation and contribute to retrotransposition through the formation of G-quadruplex (G4) structures. We demonstrate that stabilization of the G4 motif of a human-specific LINE-1 element by small-molecule ligands stimulates retrotransposition.