Class II DNA Transposable Elements (TEs) are moved from one location to another in the genome by the action of transposase proteins that bind to repeat sequences at the ends of the elements. Although the location TE insertion is mostly random, the addition of DNA binding domains to the transposase proteins has allowed for targeted insertion of some elements. In this study, the Gal4 binding domain was added to the transposase proteins, ORF1 and TPase, which mobilize the mPing element from rice. The Gal4:TPase construct was capable of increasing the number of mPing insertions into the Gal2 and Gal4 promoter sequences in yeast. While this confirms that mPing insertion preference can be manipulated, the target specificity is relatively low. Thus, the CRISPR/Cas9 system was tested for its ability to generate targeted insertion of mPing. A dCas9:TPase fusion protein had a low transposition rate suggesting that the addition of this large protein disrupts TPase function. Unfortunately, the use of a MS2 binding domain to localize the TPase to the MS2 hairpin containing gRNA failed to produce targeted insertion. Thus, our results suggest that the addition of small DNA binding domain to the N-terminal of TPase is the best strategy for targeted insertion of mPing.

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