Highly efficient targeted mutagenesis in mice using TALENs


  • S.K. Panda
  • B. Wefers
  • O. Ortiz
  • T. Floss
  • B. Schmid
  • C. Haass
  • W. Wurst
  • R. Kühn


  • Genetics


  • Genetics 195 (3): 703-713


  • Targeted mouse mutants are instrumental for the analysis of gene function in health and disease. We recently provided proof-of-principle for the fast-track mutagenesis of the mouse genome, using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) in one-cell embryos. Here we report a routine procedure for the efficient production of disease-related knockin and knockout mutants, using improved TALEN mRNAs that include a plasmid-coded poly(A) tail (TALEN-95A), circumventing the problematic in vitro polyadenylation step. To knock out the C9orf72 gene as a model of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, TALEN-95A mutagenesis induced sequence deletions in 41% of pups derived from microinjected embryos. Using TALENs together with mutagenic oligodeoxynucleotides, we introduced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient-derived missense mutations in the fused in sarcoma (Fus) gene at a rate of 6.8%. For the simple identification of TALEN-induced mutants and their progeny we validate high-resolution melt analysis (HRMA) of PCR products as a sensitive and universal genotyping tool. Furthermore, HRMA of off-target sites in mutant founder mice revealed no evidence for undesired TALEN-mediated processing of related genomic sequences. The combination of TALEN-95A mRNAs for enhanced mutagenesis and of HRMA for simplified genotyping enables the accelerated, routine production of new mouse models for the study of genetic disease mechanisms.