Long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) (also known as Long interspersed nucleotide elements or Long interspersed elements) are a group of non-LTR (long terminal repeat) retrotransposons which are widespread in the genome of many eukaryotes. They make up around 21.1% of the human genome. LINEs make up a family of transposons, where each LINE is about 7000 base pairs long. LINEs are transcribed into mRNA and translated into protein that acts as a reverse transcriptase. The reverse transcriptase makes a DNA copy of the LINE RNA that can be integrated into the genome at a new site. The only abundant LINE in humans is LINE-1. Our genome contains an estimated 100,000 truncated and 4,000 full-length LINE-1 elements. Due to the accumulation of random mutations, the sequence of many LINEs has degenerated to the extent that they are no longer transcribed or translated. Comparisons of LINE DNA sequences can be used to date transposon insertion in the genome.

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