, Volume 78, Issue 3, pp 311-321,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 14 Dec 2011

Targeted transcriptional repression using a chimeric TALE-SRDX repressor protein

Abstract

Transcriptional activator-like effectors (TALEs) are proteins secreted by Xanthomonas bacteria when they infect plants. TALEs contain a modular DNA binding domain that can be easily engineered to bind any sequence of interest, and have been used to provide user-selected DNA-binding modules to generate chimeric nucleases and transcriptional activators in mammalian cells and plants. Here we report the use of TALEs to generate chimeric sequence-specific transcriptional repressors. The dHax3 TALE was used as a scaffold to provide a DNA-binding module fused to the EAR-repression domain (SRDX) to generate a chimeric repressor that targets the RD29A promoter. The dHax3.SRDX protein efficiently repressed the transcription of the RD29A::LUC transgene and endogenous RD29A gene in Arabidopsis. Genome wide expression profiling showed that the chimeric repressor also inhibited the expression of several other genes that contain the designer TALE-target sequence in their promoters. Our data suggest that TALEs can be used to generate chimeric repressors to specifically repress the transcription of genes of interest in plants. This sequence-specific transcriptional repression by direct on promoter effector technology is a powerful tool for functional genomics studies and biotechnological applications.