I .leads to a chromosome inversion.

I .leads to a chromosome inversion.

111.21 Chromosome rearrangements are often generated by transposition.

of transposase in the cell becomes greater (remember that transposase is produced by the transposon). In the absence of mechanisms to restrict transposition, the number of copies of transposable elements would increase continuously, and the host DNA would be harmed by the resulting high rate of mutation (caused by frequent insertion of transposable elements). Furthermore, large amounts of energy and resources would be required to replicate the "extra" DNA in the proliferating transposable elements. For these reasons, it isn't surprising that cells have evolved mechanisms to regulate transposition, just as they have mechanisms to regulate gene expression (see Chapter 16).

When a transposable element first enters a cell that possesses no other copies of that element, transposition is frequent. As the number of copies of the transposable element increases, the frequency of transposition diminishes until a steady-state number of transposable elements is reached. This regulation of transposition means that most cells have a characteristic number of copies of a particular transposable element.

Many transposable elements regulate transposition by limiting the production of the transposase enzyme required for movement. In some cases, transcription of the transposase gene is regulated but, more frequently, translation of the transposase mRNA is controlled (see p. 000 in Chapter 16). Other regulatory mechanisms do not affect the level of transposase; rather, they directly inhibit the transposition event.

^ Misalignment and unequal exchange between transposable elements located on sister chromatids.

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