DNA transposons and retroviruses are important transgenic tools for genome engineering. An important consideration affecting the choice of transgenic vector is their insertion site preferences. Previous large-scale analyses of Ds transposon integration sites in plants were done on the basis of reporter gene expression or germline transmission, making it difficult to discern vertebrate integration preferences. Here, we compare over 1300 Ds transposon integration sites in zebrafish, with Tol2 transposon and retroviral integration sites. Genome-wide analysis shows that Ds integration sites in the presence or absence of marker selection are remarkably similar and distributed throughout the genome. No strict motif was found, but a preference for structural features in the target DNA associated with DNA flexibility (Twist, Tilt, Rise, Roll, Shift and Slide) was observed. Remarkably, this feature is also found in transposon and retroviral integrations in maize and mouse cells. Our findings show that structural features influence integration of heterologous DNA in genomes, and have implications for targeted genome engineering.
- Received November 23, 2015.
- Accepted January 19, 2016.
- Copyright © 2016 Author et al.
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