DNA intermediates in transposition of phage Mu

Cell. 1982 Jun;29(2):561-71. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(82)90172-6.


Transposable genetic elements can insert into DNA sites that have no homology to themselves. Evidence that there is a physical linkage between a transposable element and its target DNA sequence during transposition comes from studies on bacteriophage Mu DNA transposition in which plasmids containing Mu DNA have been shown to attach to host DNA. We report the isolation of key structures, seen after induction of Mu DNA replication, after cloning lac operator into Mu DNA and using the lac repressor-operator interaction to trap Mu DNA on nitrocellulose filters. We have localized Mu sequences within these structures in the electron microscope by visualizing the lac operator-repressor interaction after binding with ferritin-conjugated antibody. This analysis shows that key structures contain replicating Mu DNA linked to non-Mu DNA and that replication can begin at either end of Mu.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage mu / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • DNA, Viral / physiology*
  • Lac Operon
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Replication*


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • DNA, Viral
  • Repressor Proteins
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes