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GeneArt Precision TALs

March 21, 2012

TALE proteins offer precise gene editing capabilities.

TALE proteins offer precise gene editing capabilities.

Life Technologies has announced the launch of GeneArt® Precision TALs, generally referred to as TAL effector proteins (TALE), which will allow researchers in healthcare, agriculture and energy the ability to edit genomes and control gene activity with unprecedented precision and reliability.

Specific applications range from design of disease and drug efficacy models for the pharmaceutical industry to human gene therapy, a field that has been plagued by safety concerns due to random insertion of introduced genes and vectors into the genome.

TAL effectors can be designed to bind to specific DNA sequences selected by researchers and can deliver a variety of functional elements to activate or repress gene expression or to cut and insert DNA with precision. TAL proteins have an advantage over competing zinc finger technology in that they are simpler to design and bind with greater specificity, displaying fewer “off-target” events.

TAL effectors were originally discovered in bacteria that infect plants, where they target specific DNA sequences in the plant genome, rewiring gene expression to establish and propagate infection. The simple TAL effector translation code allows researchers to specifically design TAL binding proteins to bind to a DNA sequence of choice.

“Researchers give us the sequence they want to target, and we send them a gene encoding the TAL protein that will target it,” said Nathan Wood, vice president of synthetic biology at Life Technologies.

GeneArt® Precision TALs are supplied as Gateway® compatible entry clones encoding a DNA binding protein for a specific customer-submitted sequence fused to a range of customer selected effector domains. Custom TALs will typically be delivered in 3 weeks after orders are placed.

The current offering includes TALs fused with gene activators, endonucleases or a vector with multiple cloning sites providing customers the ability to link their own functional domain proteins to the TAL protein, constituting a system that is easily customized to each researcher’s needs. A TAL offering with a gene repression domain will be released at a future date.

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