A native, highly active Tc1/mariner transposon from zebrafish (ZB) offers an efficient genetic manipulation tool for vertebrates

Dan Shen, Chengyi Song, Csaba Miskey, Shuheng Chan, Zhongxia Guan, Yatong Sang, Yali Wang, Cai Chen, Xiaoyan Wang, Ferenc Müller, Zoltán Ivics, Bo Gao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


New genetic tools and strategies are currently under development to facilitate functional genomics analyses. Here, we describe an active member of the Tc1/mariner transposon superfamily, named ZB, which invaded the zebrafish genome very recently. ZB exhibits high activity in vertebrate cells, in the range of those of the widely used transposons piggyBac (PB), Sleeping Beauty (SB) and Tol2. ZB has a similar structural organization and target site sequence preference to SB, but a different integration profile with respect to genome-wide preference among mammalian functional annotation features. Namely, ZB displays a preference for integration into transcriptional regulatory regions of genes. Accordingly, we demonstrate the utility of ZB for enhancer trapping in zebrafish embryos and in the mouse germline. These results indicate that ZB may be a powerful tool for genetic manipulation in vertebrate model species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2126-2140
Number of pages15
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number4
Early online date8 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
National Genetically Modified Organism Breeding [2018ZX08010-08B]; Natural Science Foundation of China [31671313]; Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions; High-end Talent Support Program of Yangzhou University (to C.S.); F.M. was supported by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. Funding for open access charge: National Genetically Modified Organism Breeding [2018ZX08010-08B]. Conflict of interest statement. None declared.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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