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Mobile genetic elements in biotechnology

In this Mobile DNA review series we focus on the biotechnological utility of self-splicing group I and group II introns, along with that of their protein cousins, self-splicing inteins. These reviews provide a striking example of how fundamental research in microbial systems can benefit myriad applications in biotechnology and medicine. One review describes protein endonucleases encoded by group I introns and inteins that can be tailored into highly site-specific genomic clippers for gene manipulation in a wide variety of cell types. Another focuses on group II intron RNAs used for gene targeting in bacteria. Additionally, there is an overview of in vivo protein manipulation by inteins. Finally, the use of genetic insertion elements and transposons in hi-throughput sequencing and populations genomics is reviewed.

For biological insights into self-splicing group I and group II introns read the earlier Mobile introns review series.

Edited by: Marlene Belfort, Nancy Craig, Thomas Eickbush, Cedric Feschotte, Henry Levin

  1. Mobile group II introns are bacterial retrotransposons that combine the activities of an autocatalytic intron RNA (a ribozyme) and an intron-encoded reverse transcriptase to insert site-specifically into DNA. ...

    Authors: Peter J Enyeart, Georg Mohr, Andrew D Ellington and Alan M Lambowitz
    Citation: Mobile DNA 2014 5:2