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Consortium develops new method to manipulate genetic material
Date:7/24/2008

ently available methods for generating ZFNs are either inefficient or exceed the capabilities of all but a handful of laboratories in the world.

Morgan L. Maeder of the Joung lab led an effort by researchers from six institutions that demonstrated how this new method (termed OPEN, for Oligomerized Pool ENgineering) can rapidly generate ZFNs that induce 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," Voytas said. At the University of Minnesota, 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," Joung said. "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."


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Contact: Nick Hanson
hans2853@umn.edu
612-624-2449
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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