Author(s): Linden RM, Winocour E, Berns KI
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Abstract The adeno-associated virus (AAV) genome integrates site specifically into a defined region of human chromosome 19 (termed AAVS1). Using a functional assay for AAV integration into AAVS1 DNA propagated as an episome, we obtained evidence that a 33-nucleotide AAVS1 DNA sequence contains the minimum signal required for targeted integration. The recombination signal comprises a DNA-binding motif for the AAV regulatory Rep protein [Rep binding site (RBS)] separated by an eight-nucleotide spacer from a sequence that can act as a substrate for Rep endonucleolytic activity [terminal resolution site (TRS)]. Mutations in either the AAVS1-encoded RBS or TRS elements abort targeted integration. Since both the RBS and TRS elements are present in the viral origin of replication and are required for AAV replication, targeted integration into chromosome 19 AAVS1 DNA may involve a replicative type of recombination that is discussed. An additional chromosome 19 element, which is responsible for DNA rearrangements in episomes propagating AAVS1 DNA, was identified and shown not to be required for AAV episomal integration, despite its location adjacent to the recombination signal.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine