Schizosaccharomyces pombe retrotransposon Tf2 mobilizes primarily through homologous cDNA recombination

Eleanor F. Hoff, Henry L. Levin, Jef D. Boeke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Tf2 retrotransposon, found in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is nearly identical to its sister element, Tf1, in its reverse transcriptase-RNase H and integrase domains but is very divergent in the gag domain, the protease, the 5' untranslated region, and the U3 domain of the long terminal repeats. It has now been demonstrated that a neo-marked copy of Tf2 overexpressed from a heterologous promoter can mobilize into the S. pombe genome and produce true transposition events. However, the Tf2-neo mobilization frequency is 10- to 20-fold lower than that of Tf1-neo, and 70% of the Tf2-neo events are homologous recombination events generated independently of a functional Tf2 integrase. Thus, the Tf2 element is primarily dependent on homologous recombination with preexisting copies of Tf2 for its propagation. Finally, production of Tf2-neo proteins and cDNA was also analyzed; surprisingly, Tf2 was found to produce its reverse transcriptase as a single species in which it is fused to protease, unlike all other retroviruses and retrotransposons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6839-6852
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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