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Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1239:39-73. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1862-1_4.

Therapeutic genome mutagenesis using synthetic donor DNA and triplex-forming molecules.

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Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06520-8040, USA.


Genome mutagenesis can be achieved in a variety of ways, though a select few are suitable for therapeutic settings. Among them, the harnessing of intracellular homologous recombination affords the safety and efficacy profile suitable for such settings. Recombinagenic donor DNA and mutagenic triplex-forming molecules co-opt this natural recombination phenomenon to enable the specific, heritable editing and targeting of the genome. Editing the genome is achieved by designing the sequence-specific recombinagenic donor DNA to have base mismatches, insertions, and deletions that will be incorporated into the genome when it is used as a template for recombination. Targeting the genome is similarly achieved by designing the sequence-specific mutagenic triplex-forming molecules to further recruit the recombination machinery thereby upregulating its activity with the recombinagenic donor DNA. This combination of extracellularly introduced, designed synthetic molecules and intercellularly ubiquitous, evolved natural machinery enables the mutagenesis of chromosomes and engineering of whole genomes with great fidelity while limiting nonspecific interactions. Herein, we demonstrate the harnessing of recombinagenic donor DNA and mutagenic triplex-forming molecular technology for potential therapeutic applications. These demonstrations involve, among others, utilizing this technology to correct genes so that they become physiologically functional, to induce dormant yet functional genes in place of non-functional counterparts, to place induced genes under regulatory elements, and to disrupt genes to abrogate a cellular vulnerability. Ancillary demonstrations of the design and synthesis of this recombinagenic and mutagenic molecular technology as well as their delivery and assayed interaction with duplex DNA reveal a potent technological platform for engineering specific changes into the living genome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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