Transposons as Molecular Biology Tools

Transposons can be used to facilitate cloning of genes, identify regulatory elements, and produce transgenic organisms. For example, transposon tagging involves inducing transposition of a TE, allowing for disruption of a gene that generates an organism with a mutant phenotype, and is followed by molecular techniques that allow for the identification of the gene. A vari-

?ation of transposon tagging (enhancer trapping) uses P elements to identify DNA sequences that regulate the expression of genes. P elements can also be used to incorporate foreign genes into fruit flies (transgenics). In addition, transposon fossils have been useful for the isolation of species-specific DNA from complex sources such as using inter-Alu PCR for the isolation of human genomic DNA sequences. see also DNA Libraries; Evolution of Genes; Imprinting; McClintock, Barbara; Repetitive DNA Elements; Retrovirus; Reverse Transcriptase; Yeast.

David H. Kass and Mark A. Batzer


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Griffiths, Anthony J. F., et al. An Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 7th ed. New York: W. H. Freeman, 2000.

Kass, David H. "Impact of SINEs and LINEs on the Mammalian Genome." Current Genomics 2 (2001): 199-219.

Lander, Eric S., et. al. "Initial Sequencing and Analysis of the Human Genome." Nature 409 (2001): 860-921.

Lewin, Benjamin. Genes VII. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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Watson, James D., et al. Recombinant DNA, 2nd ed. New York: W. H. Freeman, 1998.

Triplet Repeat Disease

Trinucleotide, or triplet repeats, consist of three consecutive nucleotides that are repeated within a region of DNA (for example, CCG CCG CCG

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