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Cell. 1986 Jan 17;44(1):21-32.

Identification and immunochemical analysis of biologically active Drosophila P element transposase.


We have identified proteins encoded by P transposable elements expressed in transformed Drosophila tissue culture cells. Two proteins have been identified by immunochemical techniques. One, an 87,000 dalton polypeptide, is encoded by a P element mRNA lacking the third (ORF2-ORF3) intervening sequence. The other protein, a 66,000 dalton polypeptide, is encoded by an mRNA that retains the third intron and is found in somatic tissues. Furthermore, tissue culture cell lines expressing the 87,000 dalton polypeptide are able to catalyze both the precise and imprecise excision of a nonautonomous P element. The 87,000 dalton protein is encoded by sequences from all four P element open reading frames. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that the 87,000 dalton polypeptide is the P element transposase.

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