We present the genetic analysis of a large number of mutations in the outside end of insertion sequence IS10. (i) The terminal inverted repeat sequence is probably the primary site of transposase binding. Mutations in this region fall into phenotypic classes which correspond to their map locations, suggesting that this region may consist of several distinct functional segments. Similarities between the organization of IS10's inverted repeat and those of other transposable elements are discussed. (ii) Base pairs 23-42 include a consensus binding sequence for one of the IS10 transposition host factors, IHF. The phenotypes of mutations in this region suggest that IHF is the major host factor for outside-end transposition activity in vivo and that base pairs throughout this region are important for the IHF interaction. (iii) Mutations in bp 43-61 do not affect outside-end transposition activity but do affect, in expected ways, previously identified determinants involved in expression and regulation of transposase. (iv) Some mutations in bp 23-42 also affect transposase expression; the possibility that IHF negatively regulates transcription initiation is discussed.