Targeted repression of AXIN2 and MYC gene expression using designer TALEs

Sherri A. Rennoll, Samantha A. Scott, Gregory S. Yochum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Designer TALEs (dTALEs) are chimeric transcription factors that can be engineered to regulate gene expression in mammalian cells. Whether dTALEs can block gene transcription downstream of signal transduction cascades, however, has yet to be fully explored. Here we tested whether dTALEs can be used to target genes whose expression is controlled by Wnt/β-catenin signaling. TALE DNA binding domains were engineered to recognize sequences adjacent to Wnt responsive enhancer elements (WREs) that control expression of axis inhibition protein 2 (AXIN2) and c-MYC (MYC) these custom DNA binding domains were linked to the mSin3A interaction domain (SID) to generate TALE-SID chimeric repressors the TALE-SIDs repressed luciferase reporter activity, bound their genomic target sites, and repressed AXIN2 and MYC expression in HEK293 cells. We generated a novel HEK293 cell line to determine whether the TALE-SIDs could function downstream of oncogenic Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Treating these cells with doxycycline and tamoxifen stimulates nuclear accumulation of a stabilized form of β-catenin found in a subset of colorectal cancers the TALE-SIDs repressed AXIN2 and MYC expression in these cells, which suggests that dTALEs could offer an effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1120-1125
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 18 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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