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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

High-frequency intrachromosomal gene conversion induced by triplex-forming oligonucleotides microinjected into mouse cells.

To test the ability of triple helix-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) to promote recombination within chromosomal sites in mammalian cells, a mouse LTK(-) cell line was established carrying two mutant copies of the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase ( TK) gene as direct repeats in a single chromosomal locus. Recombination between these repeats can produce a functional TK gene and occurs at a spontaneous frequency of 4 x 10(-6) under standard culture conditions. When cells were microinjected with TFOs designed to bind to a 30-bp polypurine site situated between the two TK genes, recombination was observed at frequencies in the range of 1%, 2,500-fold above the background. Recombination was induced efficiently by injection of both psoralen-conjugated TFOs (followed by long-wave UVA light; 1. 2%) and unconjugated TFOs alone (1.0%). Control oligomers of scrambled sequence but identical base composition were ineffective, and no TFO-induced recombination was seen in a control LTK(-) cell line carrying an otherwise identical dual TK gene construct lacking the 30-bp polypurine target site. TFOs transfected with cationic lipids also induced recombinants in a highly sequence-specific manner but were less effective, with induced recombination frequencies of 6- to 7-fold over background. Examination of the TFO-induced recombinants by genomic Southern blotting revealed gene conversion events in which both TK genes were retained, but either the upstream (57%) or the downstream gene (43%) was corrected to wild type. These results suggest that, with efficient intracellular delivery, TFOs may be effective tools to promote site-specific recombination and targeted modification of chromosomal loci.[1]


  1. High-frequency intrachromosomal gene conversion induced by triplex-forming oligonucleotides microinjected into mouse cells. Luo, Z., Macris, M.A., Faruqi, A.F., Glazer, P.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
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