Analysis of the cis-acting DNA elements required for piggyBac transposable element excision
The terminal DNA sequence requirements for piggyBac transposable element excision were explored using a plasmid-based assay in transfected, cultured insect cells. A donor plasmid containing duplicate 3′piggyBac terminal inverted repeats was constructed that allowed individual nucleotides or groups of nucleotides within one of the 3′ repeats to be mutated. The relative extent of excision using the mutated end versus the wild-type end was then assayed. Removal of even one of the terminal 3′ G nucleotides from the piggyBac inverted repeat, or removal of the dinucleotide AA from the flanking TTAA target site prevents excision of piggyBac at the mutated terminus. Incorporation of an asymmetric TTAC target site at the 3′ end does not prevent excision from the mutated end. Thus, both piggyBac DNA and flanking host DNA appear to play crucial roles in the excision process.
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