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LINE retrotransposons characterize mammalian tissue-specific and evolutionarily dynamic regulatory regions.

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Roller, Maša 
Stamper, Ericca 
Villar, Diego 
Izuogu, Osagie 
Martin, Fergal 


BACKGROUND: To investigate the mechanisms driving regulatory evolution across tissues, we experimentally mapped promoters, enhancers, and gene expression in the liver, brain, muscle, and testis from ten diverse mammals. RESULTS: The regulatory landscape around genes included both tissue-shared and tissue-specific regulatory regions, where tissue-specific promoters and enhancers evolved most rapidly. Genomic regions switching between promoters and enhancers were more common across species, and less common across tissues within a single species. Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINEs) played recurrent evolutionary roles: LINE L1s were associated with tissue-specific regulatory regions, whereas more ancient LINE L2s were associated with tissue-shared regulatory regions and with those switching between promoter and enhancer signatures across species. CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses of the tissue-specificity and evolutionary stability among promoters and enhancers reveal how specific LINE families have helped shape the dynamic mammalian regulome.


Funder: Helmholtz Society

Funder: European Molecular Biology Laboratory; doi:


Enhancers, Gene regulation, LINE L1, LINE L2, Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINEs), Mammals, Promoters, Regulatory evolution, Transposable elements, Animals, Chromosome Mapping, Conserved Sequence, Enhancer Elements, Genetic, Evolution, Molecular, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements, Mammals, Organ Specificity, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Retroelements

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Genome Biol

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
European Research Council (615584)
Wellcome Trust (202878/Z/16/Z)