We have characterized an insertional event in IVS-10 of the factor VIII gene in a pedigree containing a hemophilia A patient (JH-25). The inserted DNA is a 5′ truncated L1 element that is 681 bp long followed by a 3′66-bp poly(A) tract. The L1 element is inserted 154 bp 5′ to the start of exon 11 and is flanked by a 13- to 17-bp target site duplication. The L1 insertion is present in four generations of the patient's family. The maternal grandfather who carries the insertion does not have hemophilia A, indicating that the insertion is not the cause of hemophilia A in the patient. We have sequenced this insertion and two previously reported de novo L1 insertions in the factor VIII gene in patients JH-27 (3785 bp) and JH-28 (2132 bp). The three nucleotide sequences differ by 0.2-0.8%. All three of these L1 insertions have open reading frames (ORFs) (1192, 642, and 157 aa) and the three derived amino acid sequences are 98-99% identical. The previously reported sequence similarity between L1 3′ ORFs and the polymerase domain of reverse transcriptases is maintained in the ORFs of the JH-27 and JH-28 L1 insertions. The presence of open reading frames and the close sequence similarity of these recently inserted L1 elements provide indirect evidence for the existence of a set of functional L1 elements that encode one or more proteins necessary for their retrotransposition.
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