The Tol1 transposable element of the medaka fish moves in human and mouse cells

Akihiko Koga, Atsuko Shimada, Toshiya Kuroki, Hiroshi Hori, Junko Kusumi, Yoriko Kyono-Hamaguchi, Satoshi Hamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


DNA-based transposable elements can be used as tools for gene engineering and gene therapy. A great advantage over RNA-mediated elements and retroviruses is the simplicity and safety of usage. The Tol1 element of the medaka fish Oryzias latipes has structural features of DNA-based elements. Although its excision has already been demonstrated, de novo insertion has not been observed, and a transposase has not been hitherto identified. We first cloned, through in silico search alignments and genomic library screenings, a 4.4-kb Tol1 copy carrying open reading frames and then identified, by mRNA analysis, a 2.9-kb transcript coding for 851 amino acids. The protein product of this transcript catalyzed transposition of a nonautonomous Tol1 copy in human and mouse culture cells. This identification of a fully functional Tol1 transposase could lead to the development of new tools for basic and translational molecular biology applications in mammals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-635
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Human Genetics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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