Transposon-mediated genome manipulation in vertebrates


  • Z. Ivics
  • M.A. Li
  • L. Mates
  • J.D. Boeke
  • A. Nagy
  • A. Bradley
  • Z. Izsvak


  • Nature Methods


  • Nat Methods 6 (6): 415-422


  • Transposable elements are DNA segments with the unique ability to move about in the genome. This inherent feature can be exploited to harness these elements as gene vectors for genome manipulation. Transposon-based genetic strategies have been established in vertebrate species over the last decade, and current progress in this field suggests that transposable elements will serve as indispensable tools. In particular, transposons can be applied as vectors for somatic and germline transgenesis, and as insertional mutagens in both loss-of-function and gain-of-function forward mutagenesis screens. In addition, transposons will gain importance in future cell-based clinical applications, including nonviral gene transfer into stem cells and the rapidly developing field of induced pluripotent stem cells. Here we provide an overview of transposon-based methods used in vertebrate model organisms with an emphasis on the mouse system and highlight the most important considerations concerning genetic applications of the transposon systems.