|Interspersed Repeat Protein Masking Documentation|
A breakdown of the main classes is given in the following table:
(sub)classes proteins AA (x 1000) DNA transposons hAT 14 361 244 Tc1-Mariner 16 337 136 MuDR 1 258 150 Maverick / Polinton 1 243 104 En/Spm 1 110 95 Other 21 475 280 LINEs L1 2 399 337 L2 2 248 177 CR1 1 180 130 Other (incl. Penelope) 20 461 381 LTR elements Gypsy 1 994 968 ERV 7 638 444 Copia 1 401 513 Other 6 235 245 Rolling circles 1 66 85
About 870 of these proteins are entries extracted from the nr GenBank databases. Most of the remaining peptides are translations of interspersed repeat consensus sequences. Many of the coding elements in repeat libraries contain frame shifts and stop codons reflecting errors in the consensus. In order to represent these elements currently some ( 1500 entries ) interrupted coding regions have been translated by using TFASTY or GeneWise, guided by the closest related proteins in the database.
Very similar proteins are represented by only one sequence (e.g. there is only one HIV-1 pol entry). A cut-off of 90% similarity and/or 85% identity has been used, but if many differences appear to be due to ambiguities or errors, more distant matching proteins have been excluded.
The protein database is still very much under development but functions fine for the purpose of masking repetitive DNA that could give rise to spurious matches in translated database searches. As most proteins are classified to the level RepeatMasker classifies transposable elements, it is also already useful for classifying transposable elements. This will be its central role in the interspersed repeat identification program that we are developing. In the future phylogenetic comparisons of transposable elements based on their coding regions can be performed using this database, though we will need to (and will) curate the database significantly before this can be done properly.
A surprisingly large number of genes are derived from transposable element proteins. In 2001 I had identified 50 in the human genome and it is more than likely that other genomes are very similar if not more so, considering that most other genomes are exposed to a much larger variety of transposable elements and DNA transposons in general. So, be aware that some genes may be (partially) masked.