Nuclear function of Alus

Chen Wang, Sui Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Alus are transposable elements belonging to the short interspersed element family. They occupy over 10% of human genome and have been spreading through genomes over the past 65 million years. In the past, they were considered junk DNA with little function that took up genome volumes. Today, Alus and other transposable elements emerge to be key players in cellular function, including genomic activities, gene expression regulations, and evolution. Here we summarize the current understanding of Alu function in genome and gene expression regulation in human cell nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNucleus (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 4 2014


  • Alus
  • Evolution
  • Gene expression regulation
  • Genome function
  • Transposable elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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