A modular open platform for systematic functional studies under physiological conditions

Nucl. Acids Res., 2015, doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv550, published on 24.05.2015
Nucl. Acids Res., online article
Any profound comprehension of gene function requires detailed information about the subcellular localization, molecular interactions and spatio-temporal dynamics of gene products. We developed a multifunctional integrase (MIN) tag for rapid and versatile genome engineering that serves not only as a genetic entry site for the Bxb1 integrase but also as a novel epitope tag for standardized detection and precipitation. For the systematic study of epigenetic factors, including Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b, Tet1, Tet2, Tet3 and Uhrf1, we generated MIN-tagged embryonic stem cell lines and created a toolbox of prefabricated modules that can be integrated via Bxb1-mediated recombination. We used these functional modules to study protein interactions and their spatio-temporal dynamics as well as gene expression and specific mutations during cellular differentiation and in response to external stimuli. Our genome engineering strategy provides a versatile open platform for efficient generation of multiple isogenic cell lines to study gene function under physiological conditions.

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TU München
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