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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

pido, a non-long terminal repeat retrotransposon of the chicken repeat 1 family from the genome of the Oriental blood fluke, Schistosoma japonicum.

A newly described non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposon element was isolated from the genome of the Oriental schistosome, Schistosoma japonicum. At least 1000 partial copies of the element, which was named pido, were dispersed throughout the genome of S. japonicum. As is usual with non-LTR retrotransposons, it is expected that many pido elements will be 5'-truncated. A consensus sequence of 3564 bp of the truncated pido element was assembled from several genomic fragments that contained pido-hybridizing sequences. The sequence encoded part of the first open reading frame (ORF), the entire second ORF and, at its 3'-terminus, a tandemly repetitive, A-rich (TA(6)TA(5)TA(8)) tail. The ORF1 of pido encoded a nucleic acid binding protein and ORF2 encoded a retroviral-like polyprotein that included apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (EN) and reverse transcriptase (RT) domains, in that order. Based on its sequence and structure, and phylogenetic analyses of both the RT and EN domains, pido belongs to the chicken repeat 1 (CR1)-like lineage of elements known from the chicken, turtle, puffer fish, mosquitoes and other taxa. pido shared equal similarity with CR1 from chicken, an uncharacterized retrotransposon from Caenorhabditis elegans and SR1 (a non-LTR retrotransposon) from the related blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni; the level of similarity between pido and SR1 indicated that these two schistosome retrotransposons were related but not orthologous. The findings indicate that schistosomes have been colonized by at least two discrete CR1-like elements. Whereas pido did not appear to have a tight target site specificity, at least one copy of pido has inserted into the 3'-untranslated region of a protein-encoding gene (GenBank AW736757) of as yet unknown identity. mRNA encoding the RT of pido was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in the egg, miracidium and adult developmental stages of S. japonicum, indicating that the RT domain was transcribed and suggesting that pido was replicating actively and mobile within the S. japonicum genome.[1]


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