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, 48 (3), 494-501

Inhibiting Replication of Begomoviruses Using Artificial Zinc Finger Nucleases That Target Viral-Conserved Nucleotide Motif

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Inhibiting Replication of Begomoviruses Using Artificial Zinc Finger Nucleases That Target Viral-Conserved Nucleotide Motif

Wei Chen et al. Virus Genes.

Abstract

Geminiviridae consists of a large group of single-stranded DNA viruses that cause tremendous losses worldwide. Frequent mixed infection and high rates of recombination and mutation allow them to adapt rapidly to new hosts and overcome hosts' resistances. Therefore, an effective strategy able to confer plants with resistance against multiple begomoviruses is needed. In the present study, artificial zinc finger proteins were designed based on a conserved sequence motif of begomoviruses. DNA-binding affinities and specificities of these artificial zinc fingers were evaluated using electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Artificial zinc finger nuclease (AZFNs) were then constructed based on the ones with the highest DNA-binding affinities. In vitro digest and transient expression assay showed that these AZFNs can efficiently cleave the target sequence and inhibit the replication of different begomoviruses. These results suggest that artificial zinc finger protein technology may be used to achieve resistance against multiple begomoviruses.

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