Transposable Elements as Plasmid-Based Vectors for Long-Term Gene Transfer into Tumors

  • John R. OhlfestEmail author
  • Zoltán Ivics
  • Zsuzsanna Izsvák
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 542)


A primary limitation to using nonviral vectors for cancer gene therapy is transient expression of the therapeutic gene. Even when the ultimate goal is tumor cell death, a minimum threshold of gene expression is required to kill tumor cells by direct or indirect mechanisms. It has been shown that transposable elements can significantly enhance the duration of gene expression when plasmid DNA vectors are used to transfect tumor or tumor-associated stroma. Much like a retrovirus, transposon-based plasmid vectors achieve integration into the genome, and thereby sustain transgene expression, which is especially important in actively mitotic cells such as tumor cells. Herein we briefly discuss the different transposons available for gene therapy applications, and provide a detailed protocol for nonviral transposon-based gene delivery to solid experimental tumors in mice.


Antiangiogenic cancer gene therapy convection-enhanced delivery (CED) glioma glioblastoma immunotherapy interferon nonviral vectors polyethylenimine (PEI) Sleeping Beauty transposon 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Ohlfest
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Zoltán Ivics
    • 5
  • Zsuzsanna Izsvák
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolis
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolis
  3. 3.Cancer CenterUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolis
  4. 4.Stem Cell InstituteUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolis
  5. 5.Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular MedicineGermany
  6. 6.Institute of BiochemistryBiological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of SciencesSzegedHungary

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