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The most specific DNA nucleases from Mother Nature
Meganucleases are sequence-specific endonucleases, naturally occurring “DNA scissors”, originating from a variety of single-celled organisms such as bacteria, yeast, algae and some plant organelles. Meganucleases have long recognition sites of between 12 and 30 base pairs. Cellectis bioresearch develops genome customization products with 18bp and 24bp-long meganuclease recognition sites. The long size of their recognition site makes them unique and highly specific nucleases.
The high degree of specificity of these proteins makes them a perfect tool for genome customization: a meganuclease binding to its specific DNA recognition site induces a DNA double-strand break at a unique site in the genome of a living cell.
To date, about 600 meganucleases, from various unicellular organisms, have been identified and sequenced. This implies that the number of recognizable DNA sequences is very limited for genome customization applications. To overcome this limitation, Cellectis modifies the recognition site of natural meganucleases in order to target native genomic DNA sequences (such as endogenous genes). To know more about meganuclease engineering, please visit the Cellectis website.
Once DNA damage is sensed by living cells, natural repair processes will be triggered to fix them.
As a pioneer in the field of genome engineering and in particular with the use of Meganucleases, Cellectis has extensive experience and has largely demonstrated its expertise through numerous scientific publications.