Non-viral engineering of therapeutic cells with the Sleeping Beauty transposon system

Z Ivics(1)

1:Paul Ehrlich Institute

Transposons are mobile genetic elements evolved to execute highly efficient integration of their genes into the genomes of their host cells. These natural DNA transfer vehicles have been harnessed as experimental tools for stably introducing a wide variety of foreign DNA sequences, including selectable marker genes, reporters, shRNA expression cassettes, mutagenic gene trap cassettes, and therapeutic gene constructs into the genomes of target cells in a regulated and highly efficient manner. Given that transposon components are typically supplied as naked nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) or recombinant protein, their use is simple, safe, and economically competitive. Thus, transposons enable several avenues for genome manipulations in vertebrates, including transgenesis for the generation of transgenic cells in tissue culture comprising the generation of pluripotent stem cells, the production of germline-transgenic animals for basic and applied research, forward genetic screens for functional gene annotation in model species and therapy of genetic disorders in humans. I will  review the various parameters, considerations and the state-of-the-art in diverse genetic applications of Sleeping Beauty, one of the most widely used transposon systems currently available.