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Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Oct;31(10):934-7. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2674. Epub 2013 Aug 18.

Conditional targeted genome editing using somatically expressed TALENs in C. elegans.

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1] National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China. [2] School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China. [3].


We have developed a method for the generation of conditional knockouts in Caenorhabditis elegans by expressing transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) in somatic cells. Using germline transformation with plasmids encoding TALENs under the control of an inducible or tissue-specific promoter, we observed effective gene modifications and resulting phenotypes in specific developmental stages and tissues. We further used this method to bypass the embryonic requirement of cor-1, which encodes the homolog of human severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) protein coronin, and we determined its essential role in cell migration in larval Q-cell lineages. Our results show that TALENs expressed in the somatic cells of model organisms provide a versatile tool for functional genomics.

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