Gene Trapping

Koichi Kawakami, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan | external teacher

Tol2 is a transposable element isolated from the genome of the medaka fish (1). We found that Tol2 encodes a transposase, which is capable of catalyzing the transposition reaction. By using the Tol2 transposon system, we developed a highly efficient transgenesis method in zebrafish. We further we developed a transposon-based gene trap vector and showed that this construct could entrap endogenous transcripts in the zebrafish genome and fish expressing GFP in temporally and spatially restricted patterns could be obtained very efficiently (2).

In this course, we will describe how this transposon system works in zebrafish and how transposon insertions and the trapped endogenous gene can be characterized, and will discuss how this transposon technology will be applicable to further development of genetic methodologies in zebrafish, which should lead to better understanding of vertebrate development and organogenesis.

Suggested Readings

  • (1) Koga, A., Suzuki, M., Inagaki, H., Bessho, Y., and Hori, H. Nature 383:30 (1996).

  • (2) Kawakami, K., Takeda, H., Kawakami, N., Kobayashi, M., Matsuda, N., and Mishina, M. Developmental Cell 7:133-144 (2004).