Impact of Mobile Element Insertions on Human Transcriptome Variation
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Mobile DNA elements are ubiquitous in nearly all species and mobile element insertions can affect nearby gene expression through many mechanisms, from disrupting coding regions to initiating DNA methylation to altering RNA splicing patterns. Thousands of mobile element insertions are still polymorphic in human populations, and these polymorphic mobile element insertions (pMEIs) can contribute to transcriptome and phenotypic variation in humans. We identified and genotyped pMEIs using the whole genome sequencing (WGS) data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project. We then used the extensive multi-tissue transcriptome data from the GTEx project to systematically assess the effects of pMEIs on human transcriptome variation.