Transposon-driven transcription is a conserved feature of vertebrate spermatogenesis and transcript evolution

Matthew P. Davis, Claudia Carrieri, Harpreet K. Saini, Stijn Van Dongen, Tommaso Leonardi, Giovanni Bussotti, Jack M. Monahan, Tania Auchynnikava, Angelo Bitetti, Juri Rappsilber, Robin C. Allshire, Alena Shkumatava, Dónal O'Carroll & Anton J. Enright
Spermatogenesis is associated with major and unique changes to chromosomes and chromatin. Here, we sought to understand the impact of these changes on spermatogenic transcriptomes. We show that long terminal repeats (LTRs) of specific mouse endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) drive the expression of many long non-coding transcripts (lncRNA). This process occurs post-mitotically predominantly in spermatocytes and round spermatids. We demonstrate that this transposon-driven lncRNA expression is a conserved feature of vertebrate spermatogenesis. We propose that transposon...
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