For many researchers, zebrafish are becoming the model of choice for genetic studies. However, the inability to efficiently target genetic modifications has delayed their use by some. The Mayo team used an improved variant of artificial transcription activator-like effector nucleases, or TALENs, to provide a new approach.
"By using genetic engineering tools called TALENs and synthetic DNA to make defined changes in the genomes of our fish, we are able to make small changes (just a few nucleotides) as well as add a specific sequence for biological gene switch applications," says Stephen Ekker, Ph.D., senior author and head of Mayo's zebrafish core facility. "This is the first time we've been able to make custom changes to the zebrafish genome."
Dr. Ekker says this toolkit opens the door to a range of new experiments in zebrafish, including modeling of human disease by introducing small point mutations, designing regulated gene alleles, and developing classical structure/function experiments using an animal model system.
This new approach has implications for other model systems, including mice, rats, flies and worms, and possible applications in stem cell research.
"To our knowledge, this TALEN toolkit also is the most active described to date," says Dr. Ekker. "This has important implications for the growing TALEN field, whether used in fish or any other cells. We used this higher activity for genome editing applications. We also used it to conduct a series of somatic gene function assessments, opening the door to an array of non-germline experiments in zebrafish."
Other authors include Victoria Bedell, Jarryd Campbell, Tanya Poshusta, Randall Krug, Sumedha Penheiter, Ph.D., Alvin Ma, Ph.D., and Karl Clark, Ph.D., all of Mayo Clinic; Ying Wang, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Essner, Ph.D., of Iowa State University; Colby Starker, Ph.D., Wenfang Tan, Ph.D., Scott Fahrenkrug, Ph.D., Daniel Carlson, Ph.D., and Daniel Voytas, Ph.D., all of the University of Minnesota; and Anskar Y. H. Leung, M.D., Ph.D., of Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.
Support for the research came from the State of Minnesota, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Research Grant Council of the University of Hong Kong and the Tang King Yin Research Fund.About Mayo Clinic
Robert Nellis | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Human Disease > Mayo > artificial transcription activator-like effector nucleases > biological gene > zebrafish genomes
Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences