Around half of the human and mouse genomes are made up of transposable elements (TEs), whose expression is tightly controlled by epigenetic silencing mechanisms. If left unchecked, TE activation leads to mutations, gene deregulation and inflammation. Notably, the epigenetic landscape of the placenta is thought to create a permissive environment for TE expression. However, surprisingly little is known about the expression of different TEs in the placenta, the underlying regulatory mechanisms, and the phenotypic consequences of TE deregulation. This project aims to dissect the mechanisms regulating TEs in the human and mouse placenta, and evaluate the phenotypic impact of TE deregulation.
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