Sleeping Beauty transposon system for genetic etiological research and gene therapy of cancers

Xiaomei Hou, Yan Du, Yang Deng, Jianfeng Wu, Guangwen Cao
Cancer Biology & Therapy 2015, 16 (1): 8-16
Carcinogenesis is etiologically associated with somatic mutations of critical genes. Recently, a number of somatic mutations and key molecules have been found to be involved in functional networks affecting cancer progression. Suitable animal models are required to validate cancer-promoting or -inhibiting capacities of these mutants and molecules. Sleeping Beauty transposon system consists of a transposon that carries gene(s) of interest and a transposase that recognizes, excises, and reinserts genes in given location of the genome. It can create both gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutations, thus being frequently chosen to investigate the etiological mechanisms and gene therapy for cancers in animal models. In this review, we summarized current advances of Sleeping Beauty transposon system in revealing molecular mechanism of cancers and improving gene therapy. Understanding molecular mechanisms by which driver mutations contribute to carcinogenesis and metastasis may pave the way for the development of innovative prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against malignant diseases.

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