Molecular Life Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert D. Wells, Judith S. Bond, Judith Klinman, Bettie Sue Siler Masters, Ellis Bell

Target-Site Selection

Living reference work entry



Target-site selection refers to the process that is used by mobile genetic elements to identify a new genetic locus for insertion (Craig1997; Wu and Burgess2004). Most mobile elements exhibit at least some degree of target-site specificity. The specificity for a given target DNA can vary dramatically from element to element and often results from sequence preferences of the recombinase proteins. In addition to primary DNA sequence preferences, selection of a new DNA target may also be influenced by DNA accessibility, DNA structure, and cellular factors that are bound to the DNA.


Mobile genetic elements must regulate the timing and location of mobility to reduce damage to the host cell. While many mobile elements show a low level of specificity for any particular primary sequence and therefore can insert into a wide variety of genetic loci, virtually all mobile elements display some bias for certain features of the genome...


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Mobile Element Mobile Genetic Element Sequence Preference Target Immunity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Control and Genetics Section, Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology LaboratoryNational Cancer Institute, National Institutes of HealthFrederickUSA
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA