Secondary structure of the AAV2 ITR. The AAV2 ITR serves as origin of replication and is composed of two arm palindromes (B-B' and C-C') embedded in a larger stem palindrome (A-A'). The ITR can acquire two configurations (flip and flop). The flip (depicted) and flop configurations have the B-B' and the C-C' palindrome closest to the 3' end, respectively. The D sequence is present only once at each end of the genome thus remaining single-stranded. The boxed motif corresponds to the Rep-binding element (RBE)  where the AAV Rep78 and Rep68 proteins bind. The RBE consists of a tetranucleotide repeat with the consensus sequence 5'-GNGC-3'. The ATP-dependent DNA helicase activities of Rep78 and Rep68 remodel the A-A' region generating a stem-loop that locates at the summit the terminal resolution site (trs) in a single-stranded form [120,121]. In this configuration, the strand- and site-specific endonuclease catalytic domain of Rep78 and Rep68 introduces a nick at the trs. The shaded nucleotides at the apex of the T-shaped structure correspond to an additional RBE (RBE')  that stabilizes the association between the two largest Rep proteins and the ITR.