The fugitive LTR retrotransposon from the genome of the human blood fluke, Schistosoma mansoni

Thewarach Laha, Alex Loukas, Danielle J. Smyth, Claudia S. Copeland, Paul J. Brindley

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Inspection of the nucleotide sequence of bacterial artificial chromosome number 49_J_14 [Le Paslier, M.C., Pierce, R.J., Merlin, F., Hirai, H., Wu, W., Williams, D.L., Johnston, D., LoVerde, P.T., Le Paslier, D., 2000. Construction and characterization of a Schistosoma mansoni bacterial artificial chromosome library. Genomics 65, 87-94] from chromosome 1 of the genome of Schistosoma mansoni (GenBank AC093105) revealed the likely presence of a proviral form of a novel schistosome retrotransposon. The novel element, which we named the fugitive, belonged to the mag-like family of the gypsy-Ty3 clade of long terminal repeat retrotransposons. It was closely related to the mag-like retrotransposon Gulliver from Schistosoma japonicum, but was dissimilar to several other long terminal repeat retrotransposons known from S. mansoni including Boudicca, Saci-1, Saci-2 and Saci-3. The full length fugitive element was 4811 bp constituted of a single read-through open reading frame of 4134 bp flanked at both ends by identical long terminal repeat sequences of 273 bp. The open reading frame encoded retroviral-like gag, with a distinctive double Cys-His motif, and pol polyprotein, with a pol domain order of protease, reverse transcriptase, RNaseH and integrase. Examination of schistosome transcriptome sequences in the public domain revealed that the fugitive was transcribed in at least six developmental stages of S. mansoni, while bioinformatics approaches and Southern hybridisation analysis indicated that as many as 2000 copies of the fugitive were interspersed throughout the schistosome genome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1375
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Genome
  • Gulliver
  • Mobile genetic element
  • Retrotransposon
  • Reverse transcriptase
  • Schistosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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