General features and properties of insertion sequence elements

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Translation termination

A third potential mechanism derives from the observation that the translation termination codon of Tpase genes of certain elements is located within their IR sequences. Although, to our knowledge, no extensive analysis of the significance of this arrangement has yet been undertaken, it seems possible that it may in some manner couple translation termination, transposase binding and transposition activity. The transposase gene of several elements does not possess a termination codon. These include IS240C, a member of the IS6 family  (Y.Chen and J.Mahillon unpublished), two members of the IS5 family, IS427 (De Meirsman, et al., 1990) and ISMk1 (Mariani, et al., 1993) and various members of the IS630 family including IS870 and ISRf1 (Fournier, et al., 1993). Instead, some of these elements insert into a relatively specific target sequence in which the target DR produced on insertion itself generates the Tpase termination codon (see: IS630 family). The relevance of this as a control mechanism has yet to be explored.

    References :
  • De Meirsman C, Van Soom C, Verreth C, Van Gool A & Vanderleyden J (1990) Nucleotide sequence analysis of IS427 and its target sites in Agrobacterium tumefaciens T37. Plasmid 24: 227-234.
  • Fournier P, Paulus F & Otten L (1993) IS870 requires a 5'-CTAG-3' target sequence to generate the stop codon for its large ORF1. J Bacteriol. 175: 3151-3160.
  • Mariani F, Piccolella E, Colizzi V, Rappuoli R & Gross R (1993) Characterization of an IS-like element from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Gen.Microbiol. 139: 1767-1772.