Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic sequences that are able to move in the genome from one location to another. TEs were first regarded as junk or selfish DNA, as they comprise the largest molecular class within most metazoan genomes having no genomic function. It was necessary to wait until whole genome sequencing to provide new insights about the origin, diversity, and impact of TEs on the genome function. Thus, due to advances in molecular technology, TEs have been shown to create new regulatory sequence networks. Although nowadays most TEs present in the human genome are silenced, particularly DNA transposons, it does not mean that these sequences are dead. In this review, we detail how DNA transposons could be emphasized to create a new tool for gene correction. DNA-based transposon vectors are derived from three models: Sleeping Beauty, piggyBac, and Tol2, which all work via a “cut-and-paste” mechanism where transposase enzyme is alone able to catalyze the transposition process, which means integrating the genes of interest in chromosomal DNA. Limitations and improvements of the systems are discussed, particularly the latest way to target a specific integration site, showing that the DNA transposon-derived system and its engineering, are powerful tools for gene correction.
Part of the book: Modern Tools for Genetic Engineering