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The Intricate Evolutionary Balance between Transposable Elements and Their Host: Who Will Kick at Goal and Convert the Next Try?

iGReD, CNRS, INSERM, Faculté de Médecine, Université Clermont Auvergne, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
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Academic Editor: Wojciech Makalowski
Biology 2022, 11(5), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050710
Received: 7 March 2022 / Revised: 15 April 2022 / Accepted: 26 April 2022 / Published: 6 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Mobile Genetic Elements at the Molecular Level)
Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile DNA sequences that can jump from one genomic locus to another and that have colonized the genomes of all living organisms. While TE mobilization is an important source of genomic innovations that greatly contribute to the host species evolution, it is also a major threat to genome integrity that can lead to pathologies. In this review, we discuss how TEs successfully bypass the host silencing machineries to propagate in the host’s genome and how hosts engage in a fightback against TE invasion and propagation. We highlight how TEs and their hosts have been evolving together to achieve a fine balance between transposition activity and repression.
Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile DNA sequences that can jump from one genomic locus to another and that have colonized the genomes of all living organisms. TE mobilization and accumulation are an important source of genomic innovations that greatly contribute to the host species evolution. To ensure their maintenance and amplification, TE transposition must occur in the germ cell genome. As TE transposition is also a major threat to genome integrity, the outcome of TE mobility in germ cell genomes could be highly dangerous because such mutations are inheritable. Thus, organisms have developed specialized strategies to protect the genome integrity from TE transposition, particularly in germ cells. Such effective TE silencing, together with ongoing mutations and negative selection, should result in the complete elimination of functional TEs from genomes. However, TEs have developed efficient strategies for their maintenance and spreading in populations, particularly by using horizontal transfer to invade the genome of novel species. Here, we discuss how TEs manage to bypass the host’s silencing machineries to propagate in its genome and how hosts engage in a fightback against TE invasion and propagation. This shows how TEs and their hosts have been evolving together to achieve a fine balance between transposition and repression. View Full-Text
Keywords: transposable elements; endogenous retroviruses; horizontal transfer; piRNA; piRNA cluster; genomic instability; inheritance transposable elements; endogenous retroviruses; horizontal transfer; piRNA; piRNA cluster; genomic instability; inheritance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yoth, M.; Jensen, S.; Brasset, E. The Intricate Evolutionary Balance between Transposable Elements and Their Host: Who Will Kick at Goal and Convert the Next Try? Biology 2022, 11, 710. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050710

AMA Style

Yoth M, Jensen S, Brasset E. The Intricate Evolutionary Balance between Transposable Elements and Their Host: Who Will Kick at Goal and Convert the Next Try? Biology. 2022; 11(5):710. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050710

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yoth, Marianne, Silke Jensen, and Emilie Brasset. 2022. "The Intricate Evolutionary Balance between Transposable Elements and Their Host: Who Will Kick at Goal and Convert the Next Try?" Biology 11, no. 5: 710. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050710

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