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Mol Cell. 2000 Sep;6(3):573-82.

Tn7 transposes proximal to DNA double-strand breaks and into regions where chromosomal DNA replication terminates.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


We report that the bacterial transposon Tn7 can preferentially transpose into regions where chromosomal DNA replication terminates. DNA double-strand breaks are associated with the termination of chromosomal replication; therefore, we directly tested the effect of DNA breaks on Tn7 transposition. When DNA double-strand breaks are induced at specific sites in the chromosome, Tn7 transposition is stimulated and insertions are directed proximal to the induced break. The targeting preference for the terminus of replication and DNA double-strand breaks is dependent on the Tn7-encoded protein TnsE. The results presented in this study could also explain the previous observation that Tn7 is attracted to events associated with conjugal DNA replication during plasmid DNA transfer.

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