The prokaryotic transposable element IS1 is known to exert a strong polar effect upon integration into an operon. To elucidate this polar effect, we constructed a plasmid which has an IS1 integrated between the 5' half of the tet gene for tetracycline resistance and the cat structural gene for chloramphenicol resistance. The cat gene is expressed by the tet promoter and the presence of IS1 in orientation I, in which the IS1 transposase genes insA and insB are in the same orientation as the cat gene, reduced the cat expression. By introducing deletions or insertions within the IS1 sequence, we were able to map a rho-dependent terminator TIS1A between the insA and insB genes. Translational interruption between these ins genes is important for TIS1A to be an active terminator.