Site-directed transposon integration in human cells

Division of General Pediatrics, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 9.11). 02/2007; 35(7):e50. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkm089
Source: PubMed


The Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon is a promising gene transfer vector that integrates nonspecifically into host cell genomes. Herein, we attempt to direct transposon integration into predetermined DNA sites by coupling a site-specific DNA-binding domain (DBD) to the SB transposase. We engineered fusion proteins comprised of a hyperactive SB transposase (HSB5) joined via a variable-length linker to either end of the polydactyl zinc-finger protein E2C, which binds a unique sequence on human chromosome 17. Although DBD linkage to the C-terminus of SB abolished activity in a human cell transposition assay, the N-terminal addition of the E2C or Gal4 DBD did not. Molecular analyses indicated that these DBD-SB fusion proteins retained DNA-binding specificity for their respective substrate molecules and were capable of mediating bona fide transposition reactions. We also characterized transposon integrations in the presence of the E2C-SB fusion protein to determine its potential to target predefined DNA sites. Our results indicate that fusion protein-mediated tethering can effectively redirect transposon insertion site selection in human cells, but suggest that stable docking of integration complexes may also partially interfere with the cut-and-paste mechanism. These findings illustrate the feasibility of directed transposon integration and highlight potential means for future development.

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    • "In the presence of transposase supplied in trans, any gene of interest flanked by inverted repeats (IRs) represents a substrate for transposition resulting in somatic integration into a TA-dinucleotide [8,10]. Very recently hyperactive SB transposase versions HSB5 [11] and SB100X [12] were generated by mutagenesis screens which resulted in 10- and 100-fold increased integration efficiencies, respectively. Previous data suggest that the target sites of integration after SB mediated recombination show a close to random genomic distribution profile. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors have been shown to be one of the most promising vectors for therapeutic gene delivery because they can induce efficient and long-term transduction in non-dividing cells with negligible side-effects. However, as AAV vectors mostly remain episomal, vector genomes and transgene expression are lost in dividing cells. Therefore, to stably transduce cells, we developed a novel AAV/transposase hybrid-vector. To facilitate SB-mediated transposition from the rAAV genome, we established a system in which one AAV vector contains the transposon with the gene of interest and the second vector delivers the hyperactive Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposase SB100X. Human cells were infected with the AAV-transposon vector and the transposase was provided in trans either by transient and stable plasmid transfection or by AAV vector transduction. We found that groups which received the hyperactive transposase SB100X showed significantly increased colony forming numbers indicating enhanced integration efficiencies. Furthermore, we found that transgene copy numbers in transduced cells were dose-dependent and that predominantly SB transposase-mediated transposition contributed to stabilization of the transgene. Based on a plasmid rescue strategy and a linear-amplification mediated PCR (LAM-PCR) protocol we analysed the SB100X-mediated integration profile after transposition from the AAV vector. A total of 1840 integration events were identified which revealed a close to random integration profile. In summary, we show for the first time that AAV vectors can serve as template for SB transposase mediated somatic integration. We developed the first prototype of this hybrid-vector system which with further improvements may be explored for treatment of diseases which originate from rapidly dividing cells.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(10):e76771. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0076771 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Targetable transposition, using chimeric proteins consisting of a DBD fused to a transposase, can be used to preferentially insert transgenes near a specific sequence. A variety of DBDs have been used to bias transposon integration on recipient plasmids in various cell types (28,42–49). Recently, endogenous transpositional targeting has been achieved (28,42). "
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    ABSTRACT: Insertional therapies have shown great potential for combating genetic disease and safer methods would undoubtedly broaden the variety of possible illness that can be treated. A major challenge that remains is reducing the risk of insertional mutagenesis due to random insertion by both viral and non-viral vectors. Targetable nucleases are capable of inducing double-stranded breaks to enhance homologous recombination for the introduction of transgenes at specific sequences. However, off-target DNA cleavages at unknown sites can lead to mutations that are difficult to detect. Alternatively, the piggyBac transposase is able perform all of the steps required for integration; therefore, cells confirmed to contain a single copy of a targeted transposon, for which its location is known, are likely to be devoid of aberrant genomic modifications. We aimed to retarget transposon insertions by comparing a series of novel hyperactive piggyBac constructs tethered to a custom transcription activator like effector DNA-binding domain designed to bind the first intron of the human CCR5 gene. Multiple targeting strategies were evaluated using combinations of both plasmid-DNA and transposase-protein relocalization to the target sequence. We demonstrated user-defined directed transposition to the CCR5 genomic safe harbor and isolated single-copy clones harboring targeted integrations.
    Nucleic Acids Research 08/2013; 41(19). DOI:10.1093/nar/gkt677 · 9.11 Impact Factor
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    • "Several methods to integrate DNA into a specific locus are being developed. One is a combination of DNA transposons and a targeting domain originated from DNA-binding proteins such as zinc finger motifs [26]. Another is the usage of target-specific non-LTR retrotransposons like R1 and SART1 [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Target-specific integration of transposable elements for multicopy genes, such as ribosomal RNA and small nuclear RNA (snRNA) genes, is of great interest because of the relatively harmless nature, stable inheritance and possible application for targeted gene delivery of target-specific transposable elements. To date, such strict target specificity has been observed only among non-LTR retrotransposons. We here report a new superfamily of sequence-specific DNA transposons, designated Dada. Dada encodes a DDE-type transposase that shows a distant similarity to transposases encoded by eukaryotic MuDR, hAT, P and Kolobok transposons, as well as the prokaryotic IS256 insertion element. Dada generates 6-7 bp target site duplications upon insertion. One family of Dada DNA transposons targets a specific site inside the U6 snRNA genes and are found in various fish species, water flea, oyster and polycheate worm. Other target sequences of the Dada transposons are U1 snRNA genes and different tRNA genes. The targets are well conserved in multicopy genes, indicating that copy number and sequence conservation are the primary constraints on the target choice of Dada transposons. Dada also opens a new frontier for target-specific gene delivery application.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e68260. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0068260 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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