Two naturally occurring nonautonomous mariner elements were tested in vivo for their ability to down-regulate excision of a target element in the presence of functional mariner transposase. The tested elements were the peach element isolated from Drosophila mauritiana, which encodes a transposase that differs from the autonomous element Mos1 in four amino acid replacements, and the DTBZ1 element isolated from D. teissieri, which encodes a truncated protein consisting of the first 132 residues at the amino end of the normally 345-residue transposase. We provide evidence that the protein from the peach element does interact to down-regulate wildtype transposase, indicating that at least some nonautonomous elements in natural populations that retain their open reading frame may play a regulatory role. In contrast, our tests reveal at most a weak interaction between transposase from the autonomous Mos1 element and the truncated protein from DTBZ1, and none between Mos1 transposase and that from the distantly related mariner-like element Himar1 identified in the horn fly Haematobia irritans. Hence, the extent of regulatory crosstalk between mariner-like elements may be limited to closely related ones. The evolutionary implications of these results are discussed.
De Aguiar, DHartl, D LengResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tResearch Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.NETHERLANDS2000/08/22 11:00Genetica. 1999;107(1-3):79-85.