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Gene. 1985;40(1):31-8.

Nonrandom insertion of Tn5 into cloned human adenovirus DNA.


The bacterial transposable element Tn5 displays regional selectivity in target sites for transposition. To examine this integration specificity of Tn5, we have mapped 57 insertion events in a plasmid pXC1 containing a eukaryotic viral DNA fragment as a target for Tn5 insertional mutagenesis. We found a nonrandom distribution of integration sites in pXC1, suggesting preferred targets for transposition. However, DNA sequence analysis of seven mutants revealed no target site sequence specificity for Tn5 insertion. We demonstrated that the majority of these insertions mapped downstream from a fortuitous promoter sequence which was present and active in this cloned insert in pXC1. Furthermore, when this promoter region was removed, Tn5 was able to transpose into previously unused upstream target sequences. Our data suggest that transcriptional activity may influence Tn5 transposition.

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