The Sleeping Beauty and PiggyBac DNA transposon systems have recently been developed as tools for insertional mutagenesis. We have compared the chromosomal mobilization efficiency and insertion site preference of the two transposons mobilized from the same donor site in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells under conditions in which there were no selective constraints on the transposons' insertion sites. Compared with Sleeping Beauty, PiggyBac exhibits higher transposition efficiencies, no evidence for local hopping and a significant bias toward reintegration in intragenic regions, which demonstrate its utility for insertional mutagenesis. Although Sleeping Beauty had no detectable genomic bias with respect to insertions in genes or intergenic regions, both Sleeping Beauty and PiggyBac transposons displayed preferential integration into actively transcribed loci.
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