Epigenetic regulation of the human genome by transposable elements
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Nearly one half of the human genome is composed of transposable elements (TEs). Once dismissed as 'selfish' or 'junk' DNA, TEs have also been implicated in a numerous functions that serve the needs of their host genome. I have evaluated the role of TEs in mediating the epigenetic mechanisms that serve to regulate human gene expression. These findings can be broadly divided into two major mechanisms by which TEs affect human gene expression; by modulating nucleosome binding in the promoter regions and by recruiting epigenetic histone modifications that enable them to serve as promoters and enhancers. Thus. the studies encompassed in this thesis elucidate the contributions of TEs in epigenetically regulating human gene expression on a global as well as local scale.