Mutagenesis by imprecise excision of the piggyBac transposon in Drosophila melanogaster
Kim, H; Kim, K; Kim, J; Kim, SH; Yim, J
Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 417(1):335-339, 2012
Biochemical and biophysical research communications
Mutagenesis by transposon-mediated imprecise excision is the most extensively used technique for mutagenesis in Drosophila. Although P-element is the most widely used transposon in Drosophila to generate deletion mutants, it is limited by the insertion coldspots in the genome where P-elements are rarely found. The piggyBac transposon was developed as an alternative mutagenic vector for mutagenesis of non-P-element targeted genes in Drosophila because the piggyBac transposon can more randomly integrate into the genome. Previous studies suggested that the piggyBac transposon always excises precisely from the insertion site without initiating a deletion or leaving behind an additional footprint. This unique characteristic of the piggyBac transposon facilitates reversible gene-transfer in several studies, such as the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from fibroblasts. However, it also raised a potential limitation of its utility in generating deletion mutants in Drosophila. In this study, we report multiple imprecise excisions of the piggyBac transposon at the sepiapterin reductase (SR) locus in Drosophila. Through imprecise excision of the piggyBac transposon inserted in the 5'-UTR of the SR gene, we generated a hypomorphic mutant allele of the SR gene which showed markedly decreased levels of SR expression. Our finding suggests that it is possible to generate deletion mutants by piggyBac transposon-mediated imprecise excision in Drosophila. However, it also suggests a limitation of piggyBac transposon-mediated reversible gene transfer for the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
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