IMR Press / FBL / Volume 22 / Issue 9 / DOI: 10.2741/4553

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Transposon-mediated directed mutation in bacteria and eukaryotes

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1 Department of Molecular Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116, USA
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2017, 22(9), 1458–1468;
Published: 1 March 2017

Transposon-mediated “directed” mutations occur at higher frequencies when beneficial than when detrimental and relieve the stress that causes them. The first and best-studied example involves regulation of Insertion Sequence-5 (IS5) insertion into a specific activating site upstream of the glycerol utilization operon in Escherichia coli, glpFK. This event promotes high level expression of the glpFK operon, allowing glycerol utilization in wild type cells under inhibitory conditions. The phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent, sugar transporting, phosphotransferase system (PTS) influences this process by regulating cytoplasmic glycerol-3-phosphate and cyclic AMP concentrations. Insertion frequencies are determined by IS5-specific tetranucleotide target sequences in stress-induced (DNA) duplex destabilization (SIDD) structures counteracted by two DNA binding proteins, GlpR and Crp which directly inhibit insertion, responding to cytoplasmic glycerol-3-phosphate and cyclic AMP, respectively. Expression of the E. coli master regulator of flagellar gene control, flhDC, is subject to activation by IS elements by a directed mechanism, and zinc-induced transposon-mediated zinc resistance has been demonstrated in Cupriavidus metallidurans. The use of DNA conformation and DNA binding proteins to control transposon hopping also occurs in eukaryotes.

Adaptive Mutation
Directed Mutation
Insertion Sequence Elements
DNA Binding Proteins
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