Transposons of the Tc1/mariner family have been used to integrate foreign DNA stably into the genome of a large variety of different cell types and organisms. Integration is at TA dinucleotides located essentially at random throughout the genome, potentially leading to insertional mutagenesis, inappropriate activation of nearby genes, or poor expression of the transgene. Here, we show that fusion of the zinc-finger DNA-binding domain of Zif268 to the C-terminus of ISY100 transposase leads to highly specific integration into TA dinucleotides positioned 6-17 bp to one side of a Zif268 binding site. We show that the specificity of targeting can be changed using Zif268 variants that bind to sequences from the HIV-1 promoter, and demonstrate a bacterial genetic screen that can be used to select for increased levels of targeted transposition. A TA dinucleotide flanked by two Zif268 binding sites was efficiently targeted by our transposase-Zif268 fusion, suggesting the possibility of designer ‘Z-transposases’ that could deliver transgenic cargoes to chosen genomic locations
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