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© Mélanie Falord, Tarek Msadek, Jean-Marc Panaud
Staphylococcus aureus "golden staph" in scanning electron microscopy.
Publication : Nucleic acids research

Novel molecular requirements for CRISPR RNA-guided transposition.

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Nucleic acids research - 20 Apr 2023

Walker MWG, Klompe SE, Zhang DJ, Sternberg SH,

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37078593

Link to DOI – gkad27010.1093/nar/gkad270

Nucleic Acids Res 2023 Apr; ():

CRISPR-associated transposases (CASTs) direct DNA integration downstream of target sites using the RNA-guided DNA binding activity of nuclease-deficient CRISPR-Cas systems. Transposition relies on several key protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions, but little is known about the explicit sequence requirements governing efficient transposon DNA integration activity. Here, we exploit pooled library screening and high-throughput sequencing to reveal novel sequence determinants during transposition by the Type I-F Vibrio cholerae CAST system (VchCAST). On the donor DNA, large transposon end libraries revealed binding site nucleotide preferences for the TnsB transposase, as well as an additional conserved region that encoded a consensus binding site for integration host factor (IHF). Remarkably, we found that VchCAST requires IHF for efficient transposition, thus revealing a novel cellular factor involved in CRISPR-associated transpososome assembly. On the target DNA, we uncovered preferred sequence motifs at the integration site that explained previously observed heterogeneity with single-base pair resolution. Finally, we exploited our library data to design modified transposon variants that enable in-frame protein tagging. Collectively, our results provide new clues about the assembly and architecture of the paired-end complex formed between TnsB and the transposon DNA, and inform the design of custom payload sequences for genome engineering applications with CAST systems.