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Cell. 1993 Nov 5;75(3):507-17.

High level expression of the Activator transposase gene inhibits the excision of Dissociation in tobacco cotyledons.

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Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Norwich, England.


A fusion of the strong cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter to the Activator (Ac) transposase (TPASE) gene does not trigger excision of Dissociation (Ds) continuously during tobacco cotyledon development, although once activated, the 35S promoter remains active throughout embryogeny. Epistasis studies where 35S:TPASE is in trans with later-acting fusions indicate that transient effectiveness for excision results from this fusion inhibiting its own action and that of other TPASE sources. Inhibition depends on the strength of TPASE expression, since fusions of the 35S promoter to a TPASE cDNA accumulate 30-fold lower amounts of TPASE mRNA than the 35S:TPASE gene fusion and do not inhibit excision. We discuss the role of TPASE levels in the curious relationship between Ac activity and Ac dosage in maize.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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