MegaTALs: A rare-cleaving nuclease architecture for therapeutic genome engineering

Sandrine Boissel, Jordan Jarjour, Alexander Astrakhan, Andrew Adey, Agnès Gouble, Philippe Duchateau, Jay Shendure, Barry L. Stoddard, Michael T. Certo, David Baker, Andrew M. Scharenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Rare-cleaving endonucleases have emerged as important tools for making targeted genome modifications. While multiple platforms are now available to generate reagents for research applications, each existing platform has significant limitations in one or more of three key properties necessary for therapeutic application: efficiency of cleavage at the desired target site, specificity of cleavage (i.e. rate of cleavage at 'off-target' sites), and efficient/facile means for delivery to desired target cells. Here, we describe the development of a single-chain rare-cleaving nuclease architecture, which we designate 'megaTAL', in which the DNA binding region of a transcription activator-like (TAL) effector is used to 'address' a site-specific meganuclease adjacent to a single desired genomic target site. This architecture allows the generation of extremely active and hyper-specific compact nucleases that are compatible with all current viral and nonviral cell delivery methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2591-2601
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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