Mobile DNA

Photo of the Group

Head of the Group

Dr. Zsuzsanna Izsvak

27: Walter-Friedrich House

Room 215

Tel. 9406-3510

Fax. 9406-2547



Beate Valeske

27: Walter-Friedrich House

Room 243

Tel. 2507

Fax. 2547


Transposable elements (TEs) are discrete segments of DNA that have the distinctive ability to move from one genetic location to another in a genome. Although, large fractions of genomes can be composed of TE-derived sequences (~55% of the human genome), the vast majority of these elements are not essential to the host cell, and often referred as ’junk DNA’ As an attempt to turn “junk” into treasure, the molecular reconstruction of ancient transposable elements, including Sleeping Beauty represents a milestone in applying transposition-mediated gene delivery in vertebrate species. My focus is to understand the basic mechanism of transposition and the interplay between TEs and host cells in mammals. My team integrates basic knowledge with technologies that are revolutionizing genomic manipulations in vertebrate species, including gene therapy, transgenesis, cancer research and functional genomics. My studies also focuses on evolutionary processes that seem to “recycle” inactive TEs and co-opt them for novel cellular function, and argue against the dogma that views them exclusively as parasites or “junk” DNA.


The two-component Sleeping Beauty (SB100X)-based non-viral vector system

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Awarded to:
Zsuzsanna Izsvak