Gene vector and transposable element behavior in mosquitoes.
O'Brochta DA., Sethuraman N., Wilson R., Hice RH., Pinkerton AC., Levesque CS., Bideshi DK., Jasinskiene N., Coates CJ., James AA., Lehane MJ., Atkinson PW.
The development of efficient germ-line transformation technologies for mosquitoes has increased the ability of entomologists to find, isolate and analyze genes. The utility of the currently available systems will be determined by a number of factors including the behavior of the gene vectors during the initial integration event and their behavior after chromosomal integration. Post-integration behavior will determine whether the transposable elements being employed currently as primary gene vectors will be useful as gene-tagging and enhancer-trapping agents. The post-integration behavior of existing insect vectors has not been extensively examined. Mos1 is useful as a primary germ-line transformation vector in insects but is inefficiently remobilized in Drosophila melanogaster and Aedes aegypti. Hermes transforms D. melanogaster efficiently and can be remobilized in this species. This element is also useful for creating transgenic A. aegypti, but its mode of integration in mosquitoes results in the insertion of flanking plasmid DNA. Hermes can be remobilized in the soma of A. aegypti and transposes using a common cut-and-paste mechanism; however, the element does not remobilize in the germ line. piggyBac can be used to create transgenic mosquitoes and occasionally integrates using a mechanism other than a simple cut-and-paste mechanism. Preliminary data suggest that remobilization is infrequent. Minos also functions in mosquitoes and, like the other gene vectors, appears to remobilize inefficiently following integration. These results have implications for future gene vector development efforts and applications.