Transposition of Tn5 in Escherichia coli strains containing one or multiple copies of the transposable element was investigated. It was found that the overall frequency of transposition within a cell remained constant regardless of the number of copies of Tn5 present in that cell. Experiments measuring the transposition frequency of differentially marked Tn5s confirmed that the frequency of transposition of an individual Tn5 decreased proportionally with the total number of copies of the element present in a cell. The IS50R-encoded function, protein 2, which has previously been shown to be an inhibitor of transposition, is sufficient to mediate this inhibitory effect. The concentration of protein 2 in a cell appears to modulate the transposition of individual Tn5 elements in such a way that the overall transposition of Tn5 in a cell remains constant.