Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26609133
Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Nov;
The potential roles of the numerous repetitive elements found in the genomes of multi-cellular organisms remain speculative. Several studies have suggested a role in stabilizing specific 3D genomic contacts. To test this hypothesis, we exploited inter-chromosomal contacts frequencies obtained from Hi-C experiments and show that the folding of the human, mouse and Drosophila genomes is associated with a significant co-localization of several specific repetitive elements, notably many elements of the SINE family. These repeats tend to be the oldest ones and are enriched in transcription factor binding sites. We propose that the co-localization of these repetitive elements may explain the global conservation of genome folding observed between homologous regions of the human and mouse genome. Taken together, these results support a contribution of specific repetitive elements in maintaining and/or reshaping genome architecture over evolutionary times.