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Mojo Hand, a TALEN design tool for genome editing applications

Kevin L Neff, David P Argue, Alvin C Ma, Han B Lee, Karl J Clark and Stephen C Ekker*

Author affiliations

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Bioinformatics 2013, 14:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-14-1

Published: 16 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Recent studies of transcription activator-like (TAL) effector domains fused to nucleases (TALENs) demonstrate enormous potential for genome editing. Effective design of TALENs requires a combination of selecting appropriate genetic features, finding pairs of binding sites based on a consensus sequence, and, in some cases, identifying endogenous restriction sites for downstream molecular genetic applications.

Results

We present the web-based program Mojo Hand for designing TAL and TALEN constructs for genome editing applications (http://www.talendesign.org webcite). We describe the algorithm and its implementation. The features of Mojo Hand include (1) automatic download of genomic data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, (2) analysis of any DNA sequence to reveal pairs of binding sites based on a user-defined template, (3) selection of restriction-enzyme recognition sites in the spacer between the TAL monomer binding sites including options for the selection of restriction enzyme suppliers, and (4) output files designed for subsequent TALEN construction using the Golden Gate assembly method.

Conclusions

Mojo Hand enables the rapid identification of TAL binding sites for use in TALEN design. The assembly of TALEN constructs, is also simplified by using the TAL-site prediction program in conjunction with a spreadsheet management aid of reagent concentrations and TALEN formulation. Mojo Hand enables scientists to more rapidly deploy TALENs for genome editing applications.

Keywords:
TAL effector; TALEN; Genome editing