CARLSBAD, Calif., March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE) today announced the launch of GeneArt® Precision TALs, generally referred to as TAL effector proteins (TALE), which will allow researchers the ability to edit genomes and control gene activity with unprecedented precision and reliability.
"We expect the GeneArt® TAL launch to be enthusiastically welcomed by the scientific community," said Nathan Wood, vice president of synthetic biology at Life Technologies. "These tools will empower our customers to carry out experiments on their 'wish lists' that they cannot readily do with existing technologies."
The development of TAL effector proteins has been closely watched by synthetic biologists, who plan to utilize them in research to develop solutions for better healthcare, agriculture and energy. Specific applications range from design of disease and drug efficacy models for the pharmaceutical industry to human gene therapy, a field that has been plagued by safety concerns due to random insertion of introduced genes and vectors into the genome.
TAL effectors can be designed to bind to specific DNA sequences selected by researchers and can deliver a variety of functional elements to activate or repress gene expression or to cut and insert DNA with precision. TAL proteins have an advantage over competing zinc finger technology in that they are simpler to design, bind with greater specificity, displaying fewer "off-target" events.
TAL effectors were originally discovered in bacteria that infect plants, where they target specific DNA sequences in the plant genome, rewiring gene expression to establish and propagate infection. The simple TAL effector translation code allows researchers to specifically design TAL binding proteins to bind to a DNA sequence of choice.
"Researchers give us the sequence they want to target, and we send them a gene encoding the TAL protein that will target it," said Wood. "The encoding process is that simple."
"TAL effectors have been evolved with beautiful simplicity," said Jens Boch, co-inventor of TAL technology. "We can now harness their natural properties to make a unique tool that represents a giant leap for genome editing and other applications."
GeneArt® Precision TALs are supplied as Gateway® compatible entry clones encoding a DNA binding protein for a specific customer-submitted sequence fused to a range of customer selected effector domains. Custom TALs will typically be delivered in 3 weeks after orders are placed.
The current offering includes TALs fused with gene activators, endonucleases or a vector with multiple cloning sites providing customers the ability to link their own functional domain proteins to the TAL protein, constituting a system that is easily customized to each researcher's needs. A TAL offering with a gene repression domain will be released at a future date.
The TAL Effector Technology license was jointly signed with inventors Boch, Ulla Bonas, Thomas Lahaye and Sebastian Schornack based from seminal discovery work while at Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg, and with Two Blades Foundation (2Blades), which exclusively licensed plant research tool uses to Life Technologies and retains exclusive rights for commercial applications in plants.
For more information, please visit www.lifetechnologies.com/TAL
All products referenced are for Research Use Only. Not intended for diagnostic uses.
About Life Technologies
Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a global biotechnology company with customers in more than 160 countries using its innovative solutions to solve some of today's most difficult scientific challenges. Quality and innovation are accessible to every lab with its reliable and easy-to-use solutions spanning the biological spectrum with more than 50,000 products for translational research, molecular medicine and diagnostics, stem cell-based therapies, forensics, food safety and animal health. Its systems, reagents and consumables represent some of the most cited brands in scientific research including: Ion Torrent™, Applied Biosystems®, Invitrogen™, GIBCO®, Ambion®, Molecular Probes®, Novex®, and
TaqMan®. Life Technologies employs approximately 10,400 people and upholds its ongoing commitment to innovation with more than 4,000 patents and exclusive licenses. LIFE had sales of $3.7 billion in 2011. Visit us at our website: http://www.lifetechnologies.com.
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