Table 4E(1). Mobile Genetic Elements as Vectors in Human Genetic Engineering

Mobile Element

Host Organism(s)


Agrobacterium Ti plasmid T DNA

Plants, human cells, yeast

(Chilton 1983; Gelvin 2003)

P factor transposons

Drosophila melanogaster and other insects

(Rubin and Spradling 1983; Bellen, Levis et al. 2011)

Mariner transposons

All eukaryotes

(Miskey, Papp et al. 2007; Delauriere, Chenais et al. 2009; Bellen, Levis et al. 2011)

Sleeping Beauty transposons[1]


(Izsvak, Ivics et al. 2000; Ivics, Kaufman et al. 2004; Ikeda, Kokubu et al. 2007; Ivics, Katzer et al. 2007)

HIV and other retroviruses


(Daniel and Smith 2008; Lim, Klimczak et al. 2010)




Bellen, H. J., R. W. Levis, et al. (2011). "The Drosophila Gene Disruption Project: Progress Using Transposons With Distinctive Site-Specificities." Genetics.

Chilton, M. D. (1983). "A Vector for Introducing New Genes into Plants." Scientific American 248: 50-59. .

Daniel, R. and J. A. Smith (2008). "Integration site selection by retroviral vectors: molecular mechanism and clinical consequences." Hum Gene Ther 19(6): 557-568.

Delauriere, L., B. Chenais, et al. (2009). "Mariner transposons as genetic tools in vertebrate cells." Genetica 137(1): 9-17.

Gelvin, S. B. (2003). "Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation: the biology behind the "gene-jockeying" tool." Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 67(1): 16-37, table of contents.

Ikeda, R., C. Kokubu, et al. (2007). "Sleeping beauty transposase has an affinity for heterochromatin conformation." Mol Cell Biol 27(5): 1665-1676.

Ivics, Z., A. Katzer, et al. (2007). "Targeted Sleeping Beauty transposition in human cells." Mol Ther\ 15\(6\): 1137-1144\.

Ivics, Z., C. D. Kaufman, et al. (2004). "The Sleeping Beauty transposable element: evolution, regulation and genetic applications." Curr Issues Mol Biol 6(1): 43-55.

Izsvak, Z., Z. Ivics, et al. (2000). "Sleeping Beauty, a wide host-range transposon vector for genetic transformation in vertebrates." J Mol Biol 302(1): 93-102.

Lim, K. I., R. Klimczak, et al. (2010). "Specific insertions of zinc finger domains into Gag-Pol yield engineered retroviral vectors with selective integration properties." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(28): 12475-12480.

Miskey, C., B. Papp, et al. (2007). "The ancient mariner sails again: transposition of the human Hsmar1 element by a reconstructed transposase and activities of the SETMAR protein on transposon ends." Mol Cell Biol 27(12): 4589-4600.

Rubin, G. M. and A. C. Spradling (1983). "Vectors for P element-mediated gene transfer in Drosophila." Nucleic Acids Res 11(18): 6341-6351.

Rusk, N. (2007). "A prince for Sleeping Beauty." Nat Methods 4(1): 10.



[1] The transposons are called “Sleeping Beauty” because they had gone inactive in the host genome and had to be reconstructed (i.e. reawakened) as active elements in the laboratory Rusk, N. (2007). "A prince for Sleeping Beauty." Nat Methods 4(1): 10.