Control of IS911 target selection: how OrfA may ensure IS dispersion.
ABSTRACT IS911 transposition involves a closed circular insertion sequence intermediate (IS-circle) and two IS-encoded proteins: the transposase OrfAB and OrfA which regulates IS911 insertion. OrfAB alone promotes insertion preferentially next to DNA sequences resembling IS911 ends while the addition of OrfA strongly stimulates insertion principally into DNA targets devoid of the IS911 end sequences. OrfAB shares its N-terminal region with OrfA. This includes a helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif and the first three of four heptads of a leucine zipper (LZ). OrfAB binds specifically to IS911 ends via its HTH whereas OrfA does not. We show here: that OrfA binds DNA non-specifically and that this requires the HTH; that OrfA LZ is required for its multimerization; and that both motifs are essential for OrfA activity. We propose that these OrfA properties are required to assemble a nucleoprotein complex committed to random IS911 insertion. This control of IS911 insertion activity by OrfA in this way would assure its dispersion.
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ABSTRACT: A simplified system using bacterial insertion sequence IS911 has been developed to investigate targeted insertion next to DNA sequences resembling IS ends. We show here that these IR-targeted events occur by an unusual mechanism. In the circular IS911 transposition intermediate the two IRs are abutted to form an IR/IR junction. IR-targeted insertion involves transfer of a single end of the junction to the target IR to generate a branched DNA structure. The single-end transfer (SET) intermediate, but not the final insertion product, can be detected in an in vitro reaction. SET intermediates must be processed by the bacterial host to obtain the final insertion products. Sequence analysis of these IR-targeted insertion products and of those obtained in vivo revealed high levels of DNA sequence conversion in which mutations from one IR were transferred to another. These sequence changes cannot be explained by the classic transposition pathway. A model is presented in which the four-way Holliday-like junction created by SET is processed by host-mediated branch migration, resolution, repair and replication. This pathway resembles those described for processing other branched DNA structures such as stalled replication forks.Molecular Microbiology 02/2004; 51(2):385-93. · 4.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IS911 transposition involves a free circular transposon intermediate where the terminal inverted repeat sequences are connected. Transposase synthesis is usually driven by a weak promoter, p(IRL), in the left end (IRL). Circle junction formation creates a strong promoter, p(junc), with a -35 sequence located in the right end and the -10 sequence in the left. p(junc) assembly would permit an increase in synthesis of transposase from the transposon circle, which would be expected to stimulate integration. Insertion results in p(junc) disassembly and a return to the low p(IRL)- driven transposase levels. We demonstrate that p(junc) plays an important role in regulating IS911 transposition. Inactivation of p(junc) strongly decreased IS911 transposition when transposase was produced in its natural configuration. This novel feedback mechanism permits transient and controlled activation of integration only in the presence of the correct (circular) intermediate. We have also investigated other members of the IS3 and other IS families. Several, but not all, IS3 family members possess p(junc) equivalents, underlining that the regulatory mechanisms adopted to fine-tune transposition may be different.The EMBO Journal 11/2001; 20(20):5802-11. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Transposases mediate transposition first by binding specific DNA end sequences that define a transposable element and then by organizing protein and DNA into a highly structured and stable nucleoprotein 'synaptic' complex. Synaptic complex assembly is a central checkpoint in many transposition mechanisms. The Tn5 synaptic complex contains two Tn5 transposase subunits and two Tn5 transposon end sequences, exhibits extensive protein-end sequence DNA contacts and is the node of a DNA loop. Using single-molecule and bulk biochemical approaches, we found that Tn5 transposase assembles a stable nucleoprotein complex in the absence of Tn5 transposon end sequences. Surprisingly, this end sequence-independent complex has structural similarities to the synaptic complex. This complex is the node of a DNA loop; transposase dimerization and DNA specificity mutants affect its assembly; and it likely has the same number of proteins and DNA molecules as the synaptic complex. Furthermore, our results indicate that Tn5 transposase preferentially binds and loops a subset of non-Tn5 end sequences. Assembly of end sequence-independent nucleoprotein complexes likely plays a role in the in vivo downregulation of transposition and the cis-transposition bias of many bacterial transposases.Molecular Microbiology 01/2007; 62(6):1558-68. · 4.96 Impact Factor