The ATRX cDNA is prone to bacterial IS10 element insertions that alter its structure.

PMID 24834375


The SWI/SNF-like chromatin-remodeling protein ATRX has emerged as a key factor in the regulation of α-globin gene expression, incorporation of histone variants into the chromatin template and, more recently, as a frequently mutated gene across a wide spectrum of cancers. Therefore, the availability of a functional ATRX cDNA for expression studies is a valuable tool for the scientific community. We have identified two independent transposon insertions of a bacterial IS10 element into exon 8 of ATRX isoform 2 coding sequence in two different plasmids derived from a single source. We demonstrate that these insertion events are common and there is an insertion hotspot within the ATRX cDNA. Such IS10 insertions produce a truncated form of ATRX, which significantly compromises its nuclear localization. In turn, we describe ways to prevent IS10 insertion during propagation and cloning of ATRX-containing vectors, including optimal growth conditions, bacterial strains, and suggested sequencing strategies. Finally, we have generated an insertion-free plasmid that is available to the community for expression studies of ATRX.