Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

The Tn7 transposition regulator TnsC interacts with the transposase subunit TnsB and target selector TnsD.

PMID 24982178


The excision of transposon Tn7 from a donor site and its insertion into its preferred target site, attachment site attTn7, is mediated by four Tn7-encoded transposition proteins: TnsA, TnsB, TnsC, and TnsD. Transposition requires the assembly of a nucleoprotein complex containing all four Tns proteins and the DNA substrates, the donor site containing Tn7, and the preferred target site attTn7. TnsA and TnsB together form the heteromeric Tn7 transposase, and TnsD is a target-selecting protein that binds specifically to attTn7. TnsC is the key regulator of transposition, interacting with both the TnsAB transposase and TnsD-attTn7. We show here that TnsC interacts directly with TnsB, and identify the specific region of TnsC involved in the TnsB-TnsC interaction during transposition. We also show that a TnsC mutant defective in interaction with TnsB is defective for Tn7 transposition both in vitro and in vivo. Tn7 displays cis-acting target immunity, which blocks Tn7 insertion into a target DNA that already contains Tn7. We provide evidence that the direct TnsB-TnsC interaction that we have identified also mediates cis-acting Tn7 target immunity. We also show that TnsC interacts directly with the target selector protein TnsD.

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