Project: Research project

Project Details


The major goal is to gain a understanding of transposable elements--those
ubiquitous DNA elements found through nature. The experimental system in
this study is the bacteria Escherishia coli K12, its bacteriophage lamda
and plasmids. The transposable element is the transposon Tn5. Two aspects
of this transposon's action are considered. The first is to understand the
molecular mechanism of two genetic rearrangements involving Tn5 -- Tn5
transposition and precise excision. The object is to understand the
molecular pathway that Tn5's DNA sequences undergo during these
rearrangements and to identify the proteins that control these pathways. The second aspect is to understand the extent and possible significance of
a regulatory scheme that controls Tn5's transposition. Studies on
regulation and mechanism of Tn5 movement are fundamental to understanding
genetic processes in all living cells. A major cause of the genetic
rearrangements for any organism appears to be the transposable like
elements. Understanding Tn5's mechanism of action may provide us with an
understanding of a major source of spontaneous mutations that underline
most genetic diseases. An implication of the work on regulation is that
this major cause of genetic rearrangements is under direct genetic control;
perhaps these spontaneous rearrangements are not simply mistakes of
replication but rather are the result of a regulated biological system.
Effective start/end date7/1/806/30/90


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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