#DOTD: Miniature Inverted Repeat Transposable Elements

1 Sep 2017

Miniature Inverted Repeat Transposable Elements (MITEs) were discovered in 1992 [1].


They are non-autonomous DNA transposons but have copy numbers that are similar to retrotransposons. In humans, for example, there are approximately 150,000 MITEs.


Their internal sequence is flanked by a pair of terminal inverted repeats (< 15bp ), which themselves are flanked by target site duplications (< 10bp) and their total length is usually less than 800bp.


MITEs commonly occur near or within genes + have consequently been useful in genome mapping techniques [2].





1. Bureau, T.E. and Wessler, S.R., 1992. Tourist: a large family of small inverted repeat elements frequently associated with maize genes. The Plant Cell, 4(10), p.1283.

2. Chang, R.Y., O’donoughue, L.S. and Bureau, T.E., 2001. Inter-MITE polymorphisms (IMP): a high throughput transposon-based genome mapping and fingerprinting approach. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 102(5), pp.773-781.

3. Ye, C., Ji, G. and Liang, C., 2016. detectMITE: A novel approach to detect miniature inverted repeat transposable elements in genomes. Scientific reports, 6.

4. Lu, C., Chen, J., Zhang, Y., Hu, Q., Su, W. and Kuang, H., 2011. Miniature inverted–repeat transposable elements (MITEs) have been accumulated through amplification bursts and play important roles in gene expression and species diversity in Oryza sativa. Molecular biology and evolution, 29(3), pp.1005-1017.

5. Han, Y. and Wessler, S.R., 2010. MITE-Hunter: a program for discovering miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements from genomic sequences. Nucleic acids research, 38(22), pp.e199-e199.

6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_Inverted-repeat_Transposable_Elements



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