Recognition of triple-helical DNA structures by transposon Tn7

Jason E. Rao, Paul S Miller, Nancy L. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We have found that the bacterial transposon Tn7 can recognize and preferentially insert adjacent to triple-helical nucleic acid structures. Both synthetic intermolecular triplexes, formed through the pairing of a short triplex-forming oligonucleotide on a plasmid DNA, and naturally occurring mirror repeat sequences known to form intramolecular triplexes or H-form DNA are preferential targets for Tn7 insertion in vitro. This target site selectivity depends upon the recognition of the triplex region by a Tn7- encoded ATP-using protein, TnsC, which controls Tn7 target site selection: the interaction of TnsC with the triplex region results in recruitment and activation of the Tn7 transposase. Recognition of a nucleic acid structural motif provides both new information into the factors that influence Tn7's target site selection and broadens its targeting capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3936-3941
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 11 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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