The transposon Tn7 is unusual as it transposes at high frequencies from episomal elements to a unique site in the Escherichia coli chromosome. This unique site is within a region of dyad symmetry that we have demonstrated to be the transcriptional terminator of the glmS gene which encodes the glutamine amidotransferase, glucosamine synthetase. Transposition of Tn7 abolishes termination of glmS transcription at this site; the transcripts now extend into the left end of Tn7 and terminate at a new site, tm, 127 base pairs from the left end of Tn7. This region of the transposon contains a long open reading frame which encodes a protein sequence that is significantly related to the transposase proteins of the transposable elements IS1 and Tn3. A weak transcript has been identified that emanates from a promoter on the 5′ side of this reading frame. This promoter is over-run by glmS transcripts and so it appears that expression of the Tn7 transposase may be regulated by promoter occlusion.

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