Initial events in Mu DNA transposition involve specific recognition of Mu DNA ends (att sites) and an internal enhancer site by the Mu transposase (A protein). This interaction between A protein and Mu DNA sequences present on a supercoiled DNA substrate leads to the formation of a stable synaptic complex in which the att ends are nicked, prior to DNA strand transfer. This study examines the properties of a synaptic complex proficient for DNA transposition. We show that the A protein binds as a monomer to its binding sites, and causes the DNA to bend through approximately 90 degrees at each site. All six att binding sites (three at each Mu end) are occupied by A within the synaptic complex. Three of these sites are loosely held and can be emptied of A upon challenge with heparin. A synaptic complex with only three sites occupied is stable and is fully competent in the subsequent strand-transfer step of transposition.