Send to

Choose Destination
Chem Rev. 2016 Oct 26;116(20):12758-12784. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00003. Epub 2016 May 17.

DNA Transposition at Work.

Author information

Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health , Bethesda, Maryland 20892, United States.


DNA transposons are defined segments of DNA that are able to move from one genomic location to another. Movement is facilitated by one or more proteins, called the transposase, typically encoded by the mobile element itself. Here, we first provide an overview of the classification of such mobile elements in a variety of organisms. From a mechanistic perspective, we have focused on one particular group of DNA transposons that encode a transposase with a DD(E/D) catalytic domain that is topologically similar to RNase H. For these, a number of three-dimensional structures of transpososomes (transposase-nucleic acid complexes) are available, and we use these to describe the basics of their mechanisms. The DD(E/D) group, in addition to being the largest and most common among all DNA transposases, is the one whose members have been used for a wide variety of genomic applications. Therefore, a second focus of the article is to provide a nonexhaustive overview of transposon applications. Although several non-transposon-based approaches to site-directed genome modifications have emerged in the past decade, transposon-based applications are highly relevant when integration specificity is not sought. In fact, for many applications, the almost-perfect randomness and high frequency of integration make transposon-based approaches indispensable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center