Transposable Elements and Stress in Vertebrates: An Overview

Anna Maria Pappalardo, Venera Ferrito, Maria Assunta Biscotti, Adriana Canapa, Teresa Capriglione
2021 International Journal of Molecular Sciences  
Since their identification as genomic regulatory elements, Transposable Elements (TEs) were considered, at first, molecular parasites and later as an important source of genetic diversity and regulatory innovations. In vertebrates in particular, TEs have been recognized as playing an important role in major evolutionary transitions and biodiversity. Moreover, in the last decade, a significant number of papers has been published highlighting a correlation between TE activity and exposition to
more » ... ironmental stresses and dietary factors. In this review we present an overview of the impact of TEs in vertebrate genomes, report the silencing mechanisms adopted by host genomes to regulate TE activity, and finally we explore the effects of environmental and dietary factor exposures on TE activity in mammals, which is the most studied group among vertebrates. The studies here reported evidence that several factors can induce changes in the epigenetic status of TEs and silencing mechanisms leading to their activation with consequent effects on the host genome. The study of TE can represent a future challenge for research for developing effective markers able to detect precocious epigenetic changes and prevent human diseases.
doi:10.3390/ijms22041970 pmid:33671215 fatcat:j25ka3h335as5jbqypp6fttylu