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The piggyBac Transposon as a Tool in Genetic Engineering

Laptev, I.A., Raevskaya, N.M., Filimonova, N.A., Sineoky, S.P.
Applied biochemistry and microbiology 2017 v.53 no.9 pp. 874-881
DNA, DNA fragmentation, RNA, Trichoplusia ni, gene therapy, insertional mutagenesis, moths, transgenesis, transposition (genetics), transposons, viruses
Transposons are mobile genetic elements that are part of the genomic DNA of numerous organisms and belong to two classes. Unlike class I transposons, class II DNA transposons do not use the stage of RNA synthesis in their transition; they perform it by the cut-and-paste mechanism or with a replicative transposition. The integration of a DNA transposon in a new site results in the duplication of a target sequence on either side of a transposon, and its excision is, as a rule, associated with insertions and deletions. The piggyBac transposon isolated from the Trichoplusia ni moth differs from other mobile elements of its class. Due to its unique ability to leave no traces after excision from an insertion site and to perform successful transposition and transference of large DNA fragments, piggyBac is a convenient tool for the development of gene engineering approaches. The TTAA sequence serves as a target site for transposon integration: insertion in the AT-rich DNA regions is more frequent. The ability of piggyBac to be transferred to a new area independently of the cell apparatus and to restore a DNA site without error after excision lies in the mechanism of its transposition, which is discussed in detail in the present review. Along with other transposons and viruses, the piggyBac transposon is widely used in the transgenesis of various organisms; it also finds application in insertion mutagenesis and gene therapy.