Latest Advances for the Sleeping Beauty Transposon System: 23 Years of Insomnia but Prettier than Ever: Refinement and Recent Innovations of the Sleeping Beauty Transposon System Enabling Novel, Nonviral Genetic Engineering Applications

Bioessays. 2020 Nov;42(11):e2000136. doi: 10.1002/bies.202000136. Epub 2020 Sep 16.


The Sleeping Beauty transposon system is a nonviral DNA transfer tool capable of efficiently mediating transposition-based, stable integration of DNA sequences of choice into eukaryotic genomes. Continuous refinements of the system, including the emergence of hyperactive transposase mutants and novel approaches in vectorology, greatly improve upon transposition efficiency rivaling viral-vector-based methods for stable gene insertion. Current developments, such as reversible transgenesis and proof-of-concept RNA-guided transposition, further expand on possible applications in the future. In addition, innate advantages such as lack of preferential integration into genes reduce insertional mutagenesis-related safety concerns while comparably low manufacturing costs enable widespread implementation. Accordingly, the system is recognized as a powerful and versatile tool for genetic engineering and is playing a central role in an ever-expanding number of gene and cell therapy clinical trials with the potential to become a key technology to meet the growing demand for advanced therapy medicinal products.

Keywords: Sleeping Beauty transposon; clinical trial; gene therapy; genome engineering; nonviral; transgenesis; transposition.