Telling TALEs to regulate networks

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Benjamin Blount, T. Ellis

Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Transcription Activator-Like Effectors (TALEs) are DNA binding proteins that can be reprogrammed to bind almost any sequence with a high affinity and specificity. We have modified this technology to create transcription factors that orthogonally bind to targeted promoters, whether natural or modified, to regulate gene expression in yeast. To increase the practicality and potential of these TAL Orthogonal Repressors (TALORs), we have developed a method to generate large numbers of unique TALORs and their cognate regulated promoters. Coupled with a novel strategy to rapidly integrate large numbers of transcriptional units into specified chromosomal loci, this technology promises to dramatically increase the number of orthogonal transcription factors available to synthetic biologists and, therefore, the complexity limit of synthetic regulatory networks.