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Cell. 2005 Aug 12;122(3):322-5.

Transposons reanimated in mice.

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  • Department of Genetics and Development, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Transposons have proved valuable in the genetic modification of many organisms but not mammals. New work reported by Ding et al. (2005) in this issue of Cell and by Collier et al. (2005) and Dupuy et al. (2005) in a recent issue of Nature now reveals that insertional mutagenesis in mammalian cells is possible thanks to modified derivatives of the piggyBac and Sleeping Beauty DNA transposons. However, the slow rate of proliferation of DNA transposons suggests that derivatives of the L1 retrotransposon might be more powerful for mutagenesis of germline cells. In either case, the future of transposon-driven genetic analyses of mice and other mammals looks promising.

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