Selecting transpositions using phage P1 headful packaging: New markerless transposons for functionally mapping long-range regulatory sequences in bacterial artificial chromosomes and P1-derived artificial chromosomes
New Tn10 minitransposons were constructed to functionally map long-range transcription regulatory sequences in bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) and P1-derived artificial chromosomes (PACs). Each contained a wild-type loxP site but, significantly, contained no mammalian or bacterial genes and/or promoter elements within the transposed portion of DNA. In contrast to loxP transposons described previously, the new ones do not introduce transcription regulatory elements capable of interfering with those endogenous to the BAC clone in functional mapping studies. Progressive deletions from the loxP end of genomic DNA were efficiently generated using these transposons, and a series of truncations generated in a green fluorescence protein (GFP)-BAC fusion clone unambiguously identified three new long-range enhancer sequences functionally in the Nkx2-5 gene in transgenic mice. Insertions of these new transposons lacking antibiotic resistance genes into a BAC or PAC were indirectly selected by their ability to delete enough DNA from the clone so as to enable its packaging within a P1 phage head with both loxP sites intact for subsequent recovery of the large plasmid. The outcome of such an indirect mode of selection is both desirable and undesirable. First, because the screen is not antibiotic resistance marker dependent, the same transposon can be used to generate nested deletions efficiently in both BACs and PACs. Second, deletions through intrainsert recombinations unrelated to loxP/Cre also get packaged and recovered, and size analyses of the BAC/PAC vector band after NotI digestion is indispensable to identify authentic loxP/Cre deletions. The procedure nevertheless offers a potential approach to map recombinogenic sequences in BACs and PACs. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.