The recombinational frequency between two long terminal repeat elements (LTR-IS) of a mouse retrotransposon was about 13 times higher, compared with that of two control DNA sequences in extracts from mouse testes, but not in extracts from ascites cells. Deletion of a 37 bp region from the LTR-IS element strongly suppresses its recombinational activity. This 37 bp region encompasses an area of potentially single-stranded DNA and interacts with at least two nuclear proteins. One of them binds sequence-specifically to single-stranded DNA and is present in both types of extracts. Another protein(s) binds to dsDNA at the motif TGGAAATCCCC and is absent in extracts from testes. Our results suggest that a cis-acting DNA sequence within the 504 bp LTR-IS element is responsible for its high recombinational activity in vitro, and they further support the previous suggestion that the LTR-IS elements are meiotic recombinational hotspots in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)