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12 February 2008 Gene targeting in mouse embryos mediated by RecA and modified single-stranded oligonucleotides
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Gene targeting is a precise manipulation of endogenous gene by introduction of exogenous DNA and has contributed greatly to the elucidation of gene functions. Conventional gene targeting has been achieved through a use of embryonic stem cells. However, such procedure is often long, tedious, and expensive. This study was carried out to develop a simple procedure of gene targeting using E. coli recombinase A (RecA) and modified single-stranded oligonucleotides. The new procedure was attempted to modify X-linked hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene in mouse embryos. The single-stranded oligonucleotide to target an exon 3 of HPRT was 74 bases in length including phosphorothioate linkages at each terminus to be resistant against exonucleases when introduced into zygotes. The oligonucleotide sequence was homologous to the target gene except a single nucleotide that induces a mismatch between an introduced oligonucleotide and endogenous HPRT gene. Endogenous repairing of such mismatch would give rise to the conversion of TAT to TAG stop codon thereby losing the function of the target gene. Before an introduction into zygotes, single-stranded oligonucleotides were bound to RecA to enhance the homologous recombination. The RecA–oligonucleotide complex was microinjected into the pronucleus of zygote. Individual microinjected embryos developed to the blastocyst stage were analyzed for the expected nucleotide conversion using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and subsequent sequencing. The conversion of TAT to TAG stop codon was detected in three embryos among 48 tested blastocysts (6.25% in frequency). The result suggests that the gene targeting was feasible by relatively easier and direct method.
Jee Hyun Kang, Kwang Sung Ahn, Soon Young Heo, Ji Young Won and Hosup Shim "Gene targeting in mouse embryos mediated by RecA and modified single-stranded oligonucleotides," In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal 44(3), (12 February 2008).
Received: 2 July 2007; Accepted: 27 November 2007; Published: 12 February 2008

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