, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 135-141
Date: 05 May 2005

Fishing for Answers with Transposons

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Abstract

Transposons are one means that nature has used to introduce new genetic material into chromosomes of organisms from every kingdom. They have been extensively used in prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic systems, but until recently there was no transposon that had significant activity in vertebrates. The Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon system was developed to direct the integration of precise DNA sequences into chromosomes. The SB system was derived from salmonid sequences that had been inactive for more than 10 million years. SB transposons have been used for two principle uses – as a vector for transgenesis and as a method for introducing various trap vectors into (gene-trap) or in the neighborhood of (enhancer-trap) genes to identify their functions. Results of these studies show that SB-mediated transgenesis is more efficient than that by injection of simple plasmids and that expression of transgenesis is stable and reliable following passage through the germline.