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Free Content Temperature controls nuclear import of Tam3 transposase in Antirrhinum

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It has been proposed that environmental stimuli can activate transposable elements (TEs), whereas few substantial mechanisms have been shown so far. The class-II element Tam3 from Antirrhinum majus exhibits a unique property of low-temperature-dependent transposition (LTDT). LTDT has proved invaluable in developing the gene isolation technologies that have underpinned much of modern plant developmental biology. Here, we reveal that LTDT involves differential subcellular localization of the Tam3 transposase (TPase) in cells grown at low (15°C) and high (25°C) temperatures. The mechanism is associated with the nuclear import of Tam3 TPase in Antirrhinum cells. At high temperature, the nuclear import of Tam3 TPase is severely restricted in Antirrhinum cells, whereas at low temperature, the nuclear localization of Tam3 TPase is observed in about 20% of the cells. However, in tobacco BY-2 and Allium cepa (onion) cells, Tam3 TPase is transported into most nuclei. In addition to three nuclear localization signals (NLSs), the Tam3 TPase is equipped with a nuclear localization inhibitory domain (NLID), which functions to abolish nuclear import of the TPase at high temperature in Antirrhinum. NLID in Tam3 TPase is considered to interact with Antirrhinum-specific factor(s). The host-specific regulation of the nuclear localization of transposase represents a new repertoire controlling class-II TEs.
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Keywords: Antirrhinum majus; low-temperature-dependent transposition (LTDT); nuclear import; transposase (TPase); transposon Tam3

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Plant Breeding, Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan 2: Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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