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Mariner-like elements are widespread eukaryotic transposons, but Mos-1 is the only natural element that is known to be active. Little is known about the biochemistry of mariner transposition. The first step in the process is the binding of the transposase to the 5′ and 3′ inverted terminal repeats (ITRs) of the element. Using the 3′ ITR of the element, we(More)
The two inverted terminal repeats (ITRs) flanking the Mos-1 mariner element differ in sequence at four positions. Gel retardation experiments indicated that each of these differences has a significant impact on the quality of the interaction between the ITR and the Mos-1 transposase. We showed that the transposase binds to the 3′ ITR better than to the 5′(More)
Internal fragments of the putative transposase gene of mariner-like elements (MLEs) were amplified from human, mouse, rat, chinese hamster, sheep and bovine genomic DNAs by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The sequences identified in human, ovine and bovine genomes correspond to ancient degenerate transposons. Screening mammalian sequence libraries(More)
Ascoviruses (family Ascoviridae) are double-stranded DNA viruses with circular genomes that attack lepidopterans, where they produce large, enveloped virions, 150 by 400 nm, and cause a chronic, fatal disease with a cytopathology resembling that of apoptosis. After infection, host cell DNA is degraded, the nucleus fragments, and the cell then cleaves into(More)
The mariner Mos1 synaptic complex consists of a tetramer of transposase molecules that bring together the two ends of the element. Such an assembly requires at least two kinds of protein-protein interfaces. The first is involved in "cis" dimerization, and consists of transposase molecules bound side-by-side on a single DNA molecule. The second, which is(More)
The mobility of transposable elements via a cut-and-paste mechanism depends on the elaboration of a nucleoprotein complex known as the synaptic complex. We show here that the Mos1 synaptic complex consists of the two inverted terminal repeats of the element brought together by a transposase tetramer and is designated paired-end complex 2 (PEC2). The(More)
— Molecular analysis has revealed the presence of a specific deletion-derivative hobo element, the Th element, in all current strains of Drosophila melanogaster examined throughout the Eurasian continent. The Th element is characterized by an internal deletion of 1.5 kb as compared to the complete hobo element. The presence of this element in natural(More)
Ascoviruses (family Ascoviridae) are large, enveloped, double-stranded (ds)DNA viruses that attack lepidopteran larvae and pupae, and are unusual in that they are transmitted by parasitic wasps during oviposition. Previous comparisons of DNA polymerase sequences from vertebrate and invertebrate viruses suggested that ascoviruses are closely related to(More)
Transposons have contributed protein coding sequences to a unexpectedly large number of human genes. Except for the V(D)J recombinase and telomerase, all remain of unknown function. Here we investigate the activity of the human SETMAR protein, a highly expressed fusion between a histone H3 methylase and a mariner family transposase. Although SETMAR has(More)
The Spodoptera frugiperda ascovirus, a DNA virus that attacks lepidopterans, codes for an executioner caspase synthesized by 9 h after infection of Sf21 cells. This caspase alone induces apoptosis in insect cells and, during viral replication in vivo, contributes to a novel cell cleavage process in which developing apoptotic bodies are rescued by the virus(More)