Tn7: a target site‐specific transposon

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64 Scopus citations


The bacterial transposon Tn7 is an unusual mobile DNA segment. Most transposable elements move at low‐frequency and display little target site‐selectivity. By contrast, Tn7 inserts at high‐frequency into a single specific site in the chromosomes of many bacteria. In the absence of this specific site, called attTn7 in Escherichia coil where Tn7 has been most extensively studied, Tn7 transposes at low‐frequency and inserts into many different sites. Much has recently been learned about Tn7 transposition from both genetic and biochemical studies. The Tn7 recombination machinery is elaborate and includes a large number of Tn7‐encoded proteins, probably host‐encoded proteins and also rather large cis‐acting transposition sequences at the transposon termini and at the target site. Dissection of the Tn7 transposition mechanism has revealed that the DNA strand breakage and joining reactions that underlie the translocation of Tn7 have several unusual features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2569-2573
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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