Factors responsible for target site selection in Tn10 transposition: a role for the DDE motif in target DNA capture
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Tn10, like several other transposons, exhibits a marked preference for integration into particular target sequences. Such sequences are referred to as integration hotspots and have been used to define a consensus target site in Tn10 transposition. We demonstrate that a Tn10 hotspot called HisG1, which was identified originally in vivo, also functions as an integration hotspot in vitro in a reaction where the HisG1 sequence is present on a short DNA oligomer. We use this in vitro system to define factors which are important for the capture of the HisG1 target site. We demonstrate that although divalent metal ions are not essential for HisG1 target capture, they greatly facilitate capture of a mutated HisG1 site. Analysis of catalytic transposase mutants further demonstrates that the DDE motif plays a critical role in 'divalent metal ion-dependent' target capture. Analysis of two other classes of transposase mutants, Exc+ Int- (which carry out transposon excision but not integration) and ATS (altered target specificity), demonstrates that while a particular ATS transposase binds HisG1 mutants better than wild-type transposase, Exc+ Int- mutants are defective in HisG1 capture, further defining the properties of these classes of mutants. Possible mechanisms for the above observations are considered.
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