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A transpoviron is a mobile genetic element found in the genomes of giant DNA viruses.[1][2]

They are linear DNA elements of approximately 7 kilobases that encompass six to eight protein encoding genes. Two of these genes are homologous to virophage genes. Transpovirons encode a superfamily 1 helicase, which encompasses an inactivated family B DNA polymerase domain.[3] Homologs of this unique polymerase-helicase fusion protein are widespread in Polinton-Like Viruses (PLV)[4]. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of the helicase domain it has been concluded that transpovirons have evolved from PLV via the loss of several genes including those encoding the morphogenetic module proteins.[3]


  1. ^ Desnues, C; La Scola, B; Yutin, N; Fournous, G; Robert, C; Azza, S; Jardot, P; Monteil, S; Campocasso, A; Koonin, EV; Raoult, D (2012). "Provirophages and transpovirons as the diverse mobilome of giant viruses". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 109 (44): 18078–83. doi:10.1073/pnas.1208835109. PMC 3497776.
  2. ^ Yutin, N; Raoult, D; Koonin, EV (2013). "Virophages, polintons, and transpovirons: a complex evolutionary network of diverse selfish genetic elements with different reproduction strategies". Virol J. 10 (1): 158. doi:10.1186/1743-422x-10-158.
  3. ^ a b Mart Krupovic, Natalya Yutin, Eugene V. Koonin (2016). "Fusion of a superfamily 1 helicase and an inactivated DNA polymerase is a signature of common evolutionary history of Polintons, polinton-like viruses, Tlr1 transposons and transpovirons". Virus Evolution. 2 (1): vew019. doi:10.1093/ve/vew019.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Yutin, N; Shevchenko, S; Kapitonov, V; Krupovic, M; Koonin, EV (2015). "A novel group of diverse Polinton-like viruses discovered by metagenome analysis". BMC Biology. 13: 95. doi:10.1186/s12915-015-0207-4. PMC 4642659. PMID 26560305.