ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-110811-23
Heritable gene targeting in zebrafish using customized TALENs
Huang, P., Xiao, A., Zhou, M., Zhu, Z., Lin, S., and Zhang, B.
To the Editor:
Studies of targeted gene modifications are of great interest in basic research as well as for clinical and agricultural applications1. In the February issue of Nature Biotechnology, two articles reported genomic modifications using transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors2, 3. Using fusion proteins, each comprising a TAL effector DNA binding domain and a FokI cleavage domain, Miller et al.2 reported that TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) successfully disrupted target genes in cultured human cells. Zhang et al.3 showed that TAL effectors can be used to regulate endogenous gene transcription. Compared with zinc-finger proteins4, 5, TAL effectors permit more predictable and specific binding to target DNA6, and therefore allow researchers to engineer genomes precisely without the need for laborious screening to identify a DNA binding domain with the requisite specificity. TALENs can induce DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) in yeast7. Gene targeting using TALENs has also been achieved in nematodes8 and human pluripotent cells9. However, it has not, to our knowledge, yet been demonstrated in a vertebrate organism. Here we report the use of TALENs to disrupt both of the two endogenous zebrafish genes we targeted and show that the mutations are transmitted through the germ line.