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Consortium develops new method enabling routine targeted gene modification
Date:7/24/2008

e alterations at sites in three biologically important human genes and a plant gene. ZFNs made by the new OPEN method which utilizes a new archive of reagents that will be made publicly available by the Zinc Finger Consortium were so efficient that they could modify as many as four copies of a gene in human cells and two copies in plant cells.

"Our study provides the first evidence that ZFNs can make specific changes in plant genes with high efficiency and opens a new avenue for plant genetic modification," says Daniel Voytas, PhD, of the University of Minnesota, whose lab conducted the plant cell experiments. Recently relocated from Iowa State University, Voytas and his team are interested in modifying plant genes for crop improvement.

"With the development of OPEN, many more academic labs will be able to construct, test and use ZFNs in their biological research projects," adds Joung. "OPEN should also stimulate additional research into the potential application of ZFNs for gene therapy of single-gene disorders, such as sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis." Joung's lab has already begun to explore ways to further simplify the OPEN method so that it can be performed more quickly and for a larger number of gene targets at once. He is an assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Molecular Pathology Unit at MGH.


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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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