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Assays & screens

Low-copy piggyBac (PB) mutagenesis screening to identify mutated genes that drive cancer

Low-copy PB screening in mice could help identify genes that drive cancer when mutated. Identifying oncogenic driver genes from high-copy transposon mutagenesis has been difficult because of high background mutation rates. In mice, the low-copy PB mutagenesis system, which generates about four insertion mutations per tumor, was used to screen for drivers of mutant BRAF-expressing melanoma growth. Sequencing identified insertions in 2 known melanoma drivers, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (Mitf) and cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (Cdkn2a; Ink4a; Arf; p16INK4a), and 36 previously undescribed candidate driver genes. Next steps could include using the screening system for other types of cancer.

SciBX 6(38); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1073
Published online Oct. 3, 2013

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Ni, T.K. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Sept. 3, 2013;
Contact: Tian Xu, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.