Transpososomes: Stable protein-DNA complexes involved in the in vitro transposition of bacteriophage Mu DNA
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We report that two types of stable protein-DNA complexes, or transpososomes, are generated in vitro during the Mu DNA strand transfer reaction. The Type 1 complex is an intermediate in the reaction. Its formation requires a supercoiled mini-Mu donor plasmid, Mu A and HU protein, and Mg2+. In the Type 1 complex the two ends of Mu are held together, creating a figure eight-shaped molecule with two independent topological domains; the Mu sequences remain supercoiled while the vector DNA is relaxed because of nicking. In the presence of Mu B protein, ATP, target DNA, and Mg2+, the Type 1 complex is converted into the protein-associated product of the strand transfer reaction. In this Type 2 complex, the target DNA has been joined to the Mu DNA ends held in the synaptic complex at the center of the figure eight. Supercoils are not required for the latter reaction.
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