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Transcription activity of transposon sequence limits Sleeping Beauty transposition

Kolacsek, Orsolya, Orbán, Tamás I.
Gene 2018 v.676 pp. 184-188
biotechnology, cell culture, gene therapy, gene transfer, transcription (genetics), transgenes, transgenesis, transposition (genetics), transposons, vertebrates
Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon based technology has been extensively applied in basic research and biotechnology for routine cell culture gene delivery and vertebrate transgenesis, and it is also investigated in various gene therapy applications. Cell tolerance for the transgene is a key factor during transgenesis and is modulated not only through the type but by the dose of expression. Our experimental results exemplify that transgenes regulated with high activity promoters can reduce the overall success of gene delivery. Observations connected to transposon donors regulated by different promoters have also revealed inverse correlation between transcription activity and the hyperactive variant SB100X excision efficiency. This competition between transcription and transposition was independent of the transgene coding sequence and did not alter the transgenic efficiency in general. However, promoters applied in the transgene cassette can produce different average copy numbers depending on the transcriptional activity of the transposon. Unlike the piggyBac (PB) transposon system, this phenomenon allows a fine balance of expression using the high copy potential SB system that adjusts the copy number of lower activity promoter driven transgenes to a higher expression level. All this contributes to a well-tolerated and satisfactory transgenesis, and would be important to consider in gene therapy applications.