Recent results confirm that long-term expression of therapeutic transgenes can be achieved by using a transposon-based system in primary stem cells and in vivo. Transposable elements are natural DNA transfer vehicles that are capable of efficient genomic insertion. The latest generation, Sleeping Beauty transposon-based hyperactive vector (SB100X), is able to address the basic problem of non-viral approaches - that is, low efficiency of stable gene transfer. The combination of transposon-based non-viral gene transfer with the latest improvements of non-viral delivery techniques could provide a long-term therapeutic effect without compromising biosafety. The new challenges of pre-clinical research will focus on further refinement of the technology in large animal models and improving the safety profile of SB vectors by target-selected transgene integration into genomic "safe harbors." The first clinical application of the SB system will help to validate the safety of this approach.
- SB100x transposon