Trends Genet 2007 Apr 27;23(4):183-91. Epub 2007 Feb 27.
Department of Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Although a large proportion (44%) of the human genome is occupied by transposons and transposon-like repetitive elements, only a small proportion (<0.05%) of these elements remain active today. Recent evidence indicates that approximately 35-40 subfamilies of Alu, L1 and SVA elements (and possibly HERV-K elements) remain actively mobile in the human genome. These active transposons are of great interest because they continue to produce genetic diversity in human populations and also cause human diseases by integrating into genes. In this review, we examine these active human transposons and explore mechanistic factors that influence their mobilization.