Use of Cell-Free Technology to Evaluate Nuclease (TALEN) Activity on Target DNA

ImageSource=RCSB PDB; StructureID=1qpf; DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.2210/pdb1qpf/pdb;
ImageSource=RCSB PDB; StructureID=1qpf; DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.2210/pdb1qpf/pdb;
Transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) have rapidly become a technique of choice for precision genome engineering. TALENs are custom-designed nucleases that consist of a modular DNA-binding domain fused to a monomeric, C-terminal FokI nuclease domain (1). TALENs work in pairs and are designed to recognize and bind to tandem-oriented sequences in genomic DNA, separated by a short spacer (15–30 bp). TALEN binding causes dimerization and activation of the FokI nuclease domains, which results in cleavage of the DNA within the spacer region. Small insertions or deletions (indels) are frequently introduced at this site, as the result of errors made during DNA repair by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). These indels can be up to several hundred base pairs in length and result in frameshift mutations that lead to the production of truncated or nonfunctional proteins.

Successful use of TALENs for inducing targeted mutations has been reported in many conventional models, for example: mice, Xenopus and D. melanogaster. TALENs are also reported to be functional in a variety of other invertebrate arthropods, including mosquitos,silkworm and cricket. A recent publication (2) illustrates the use of TALEN technology for the genetic manipulation in P. dumerilii (marine ragworm). Continue reading “Use of Cell-Free Technology to Evaluate Nuclease (TALEN) Activity on Target DNA”

Cell-Free Expression: Non-Radioactive Detection/Applications

The Transcend™ Non-Radioactive Translation Detection Systems allow nonradioactive detection of proteins synthesized using cell free expression. Using these systems, biotinylated lysine residues are incorporated into nascent proteins during translation, This biotinylated lysine is added to the translation reaction as a precharged ε-labeled biotinylated lysine-tRNA complex rather than a free amino acid. After SDS-PAGE and electroblotting, the biotinylated proteins can be visualized by binding either Streptavidin-Alkaline Phosphatase (Streptavidin-AP) or Streptavidin-Horseradish Peroxidase (Streptavidin-HRP), followed either by colorimetric or chemiluminescent detection. Typically, these methods can detect 0.5–5ng of protein within 3–4 hours after gel electrophoresis and can be used for a variety of proteomics related applications. Examples include: Continue reading “Cell-Free Expression: Non-Radioactive Detection/Applications”