Transposon insertion mutagenesis in mice for modeling human cancers: Critical insights gained and new opportunities

Pauline J. Beckmann, David A. Largaespada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Transposon mutagenesis has been used to model many types of human cancer in mice, leading to the discovery of novel cancer genes and insights into the mechanism of tumorigenesis. For this review, we identified over twenty types of human cancer that have been modeled in the mouse using Sleeping Beauty and piggyBac transposon insertion mutagenesis. We examine several specific biological insights that have been gained and describe opportunities for continued research. Specifically, we review studies with a focus on understanding metastasis, therapy resistance, and tumor cell of origin. Additionally, we propose further uses of transposon‐based models to identify rarely mutated driver genes across many cancers, understand additional mechanisms of drug resistance and metastasis, and define personalized therapies for cancer patients with obesity as a comorbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1172
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: Support for this research was provided by The American Cancer Society (Research Professor Award #123939 to DAL).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Animal modeling
  • Cancer
  • Transposon screen

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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