Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) are programmable nucleases that join FokI endonuclease with the modular DNA-binding domain of TALEs. Although zinc-finger nucleases enable a variety of genome modifications, their application to genetic engineering of livestock has been slowed by technical limitations of embryo-injection, culture of primary cells, and difficulty in producing reliable reagents with a limited budget. In contrast, we found that TALENs could easily be manufactured and that over half (23/36, 64%) demonstrate high activity in primary cells. Cytoplasmic injections of TALEN mRNAs into livestock zygotes were capable of inducing gene KO in up to 75% of embryos analyzed, a portion of which harbored biallelic modification. We also developed a simple transposon coselection strategy for TALEN-mediated gene modification in primary fibroblasts that enabled both enrichment for modified cells and efficient isolation of modified colonies. Coselection after treatment with a single TALEN-pair enabled isolation of colonies with mono- and biallelic modification in up to 54% and 17% of colonies, respectively. Co-selection after treatment with two TALEN-pairs directed against the same chromosome enabled the isolation of colonies harboring large chromosomal deletions and inversions (10% and 4% of colonies, respectively). TALEN-modified Ossabaw swine fetal fibroblasts were effective nuclear donors for cloning, resulting in the creation of miniature swine containing mono- and biallelic mutations of the LDL receptor gene as models of familial hypercholesterolemia. TALENs thus appear to represent a highly facile platform for the modification of livestock genomes for both biomedical and agricultural applications.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Oct 23 2012|
- Tal-effector nuclease