We reported that several DNA sequences homologous to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are present in the human nuclear genome (Tsuzuki et al. (1983) Gene 25, 223-229). Detailed Southern blot analyses revealed that one of such sequences is interrupted by a repetitive sequence about 1.8 kb long, and that the insert is one member of the dispersed repeated DNA sequences of the KpnI 1.8 kb family. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed that the KpnI 1.8 kb DNA is flanked with imperfect 15-base pair (bp) direct repeats of mtDNA. This KpnI 1.8 kb DNA has an A-rich sequence at its 3'-end, and has a considerable homology with one of the published cDNA sequences homologous to one of the human KpnI families and also to one of the African green monkey KpnI families, KpnI-LS1. These structural features suggest that the KpnI 1.8 kb DNA is a movable element and is inserted within the mtDNA-like sequence by an RNA-mediated process.
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