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
Closing in on advanced prostate cancer
13.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Visualizing single molecules in whole cells with a new spin
13.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2017 | Life Sciences