Abstract

Transcription activator–like (TAL) effector nucleases (TALENs) can be readily engineered to bind specific genomic loci, enabling the introduction of precise genetic modifications such as gene knockouts and additions. Here we present a genome-scale collection of TALENs for efficient and scalable gene targeting in human cells. We chose target sites that did not have highly similar sequences elsewhere in the genome to avoid off-target mutations and assembled TALEN plasmids for 18,740 protein-coding genes using a high-throughput Golden-Gate cloning system. A pilot test involving 124 genes showed that all TALENs were active and disrupted their target genes at high frequencies, although two of these TALENs became active only after their target sites were partially demethylated using an inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase. We used our TALEN library to generate single- and double-gene-knockout cells in which NF-κB signaling pathways were disrupted. Compared with cells treated with short interfering RNAs, these cells showed unambiguous suppression of signal transduction.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (J.-S.K., 2012-0001225), the Intelligent Synthetic Biology Center of the Global Frontier Project funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Korea (D.B., 2011-0031956), Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (S.K., 311062-04-2-sb1010), and Plant Molecular Breeding Center of Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program (S.K., PJ009081).

Author information

Author notes

    • Yongsub Kim
    • , Jiyeon Kweon
    • , Annie Kim
    • , Jae Kyung Chon
    •  & Ji Yeon Yoo

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. National Creative Initiatives Research Center for Genome Engineering and Department of Chemistry, Seoul National University, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

    • Yongsub Kim
    • , Jiyeon Kweon
    • , Annie Kim
    • , Hye Joo Kim
    • , Sojung Kim
    • , Choongil Lee
    • , Euihwan Jeong
    • , Eugene Chung
    • , Doyoung Kim
    •  & Jin-Soo Kim
  2. Department of Interdisciplinary Program in Bioinformatics, Seoul National University, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

    • Jae Kyung Chon
  3. ToolGen, Inc., Geumcheon-Gu, Seoul, South Korea.

    • Ji Yeon Yoo
    • , Mi Seon Lee
    • , Eun Mi Go
    • , Hye Jung Song
    •  & Seokjoong Kim
  4. Department of Chemistry, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea.

    • Hwangbeom Kim
    • , Namjin Cho
    •  & Duhee Bang

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Contributions

J.-S.K., S.K. and D.B. supervised the research and wrote the manuscript. All the other authors performed the experiments.

Competing interests

J.Y.Y., M.S.L., E.M.G., H.J.S. and S.K. are employees of ToolGen.

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Correspondence to Seokjoong Kim or Jin-Soo Kim.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.2517

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