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J Mol Biol. 1991 Dec 5;222(3):465-77.

Programmed translational frameshifting and initiation at an AUU codon in gene expression of bacterial insertion sequence IS911.

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Centre de Recherche en Biochimie et Génétique Cellulaire, CNRS Toulouse, France.


The proteins expressed by insertion sequence IS911, a member of the widespread IS3 family of elements, have been analyzed. The results indicate that three major species are produced from two consecutive reading frames. A protein of Mr 11,500, ORFA, is synthesized from an upstream reading frame. A larger protein, ORFAB, uses the same initiation codon and is produced by a -1 programmed translational frameshift between orfA and a downstream frame, orfB, whose amino acid sequence shows significant homology with retroviral integrase proteins. The orfB frame is also expressed independently in two alternative forms: the first uses a rare AUU initiation codon in the orfB phase whereas the second appears to initiate in the orfA phase and is produced by a -1 frameshift mechanism similar to that used in ORFAB expression. A specific IS911 integration reaction using a minimal active junction composed of 51 base-pairs of the right inverted repeat and a flanking phase lambda sequence resembling a second end in inverted orientation has been developed to analyze the functions of these proteins by transcomplementation in vivo. The orfA and orfB frames are shown to be essential and production of ORFAB is shown to stimulate integration in this system, suggesting that this fusion protein is the IS911 transposase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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