Homology-directed repair in rodent zygotes using Cas9 and TALEN engineered proteins

Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 7;5:14410. doi: 10.1038/srep14410.


The generation of genetically-modified organisms has been revolutionized by the development of new genome editing technologies based on the use of gene-specific nucleases, such as meganucleases, ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPRs-Cas9 systems. The most rapid and cost-effective way to generate genetically-modified animals is by microinjection of the nucleic acids encoding gene-specific nucleases into zygotes. However, the efficiency of the procedure can still be improved. In this work we aim to increase the efficiency of CRISPRs-Cas9 and TALENs homology-directed repair by using TALENs and Cas9 proteins, instead of mRNA, microinjected into rat and mouse zygotes along with long or short donor DNAs. We observed that Cas9 protein was more efficient at homology-directed repair than mRNA, while TALEN protein was less efficient than mRNA at inducing homology-directed repair. Our results indicate that the use of Cas9 protein could represent a simple and practical methodological alternative to Cas9 mRNA in the generation of genetically-modified rats and mice as well as probably some other mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microinjections
  • Protein Engineering*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recombinational DNA Repair / genetics*
  • Zygote / physiology*