Ggatatcc Cctatagg

FIGURE 4.11 Palindromes and Inverted Repeats

A mirror-like palindrome and an inverted repeat are shown. Similar colors indicate palindromic or inverted sequences.

Regulatory proteins often bind to DNA at inverted repeat sequences.

Selfish DNA proliferates through the genome and may be regarded as a subcellular parasite infecting the host chromosomes. The accumulation of selfish DNA depends on two opposing processes, the replication and re-insertion of selfish DNA and its spontaneous deletion. In rapidly dividing, single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, selfish DNA tends to be eliminated, whereas in slowly dividing, multi-cellular organisms it has more opportunity to accumulate. Although originally useless, some defunct selfish DNA sequences may have been put to use by the host cell in non-coding roles such as helping to maintain chromosome structure.

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