Differential integrity ofTALEnuclease genes following adenoviral and lentiviral vector gene transfer into human cells

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The array of genome editing strategies based on targeted double-stranded DNA break formation have recently been enriched through the introduction of transcription activator-like type III effector (TALE) nucleases (TALENs). To advance the testing of TALE-based approaches, it will be crucial to deliver these custom-designed proteins not only into transformed cell types but also into more relevant, chromosomally stable, primary cells. Viral vectors are among the most effective gene transfer vehicles. Here, we investigated the capacity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1- and adenovirus-based vectors to package and deliver functionalTALENgenes into various human cell types. To this end, we attempted to assemble particles of these two vector classes, each encoding a monomer of a TALEN pair targeted to a bipartite sequence within theAAVS1‘safe harbor’ locus. Vector DNA analyses revealed that adenoviral vectors transferred intactTALENgenes, whereas lentiviral vectors failed to do so, as shown by their heterogeneously sized proviruses in target cells. Importantly, adenoviral vector-mediatedTALENgene delivery resulted in site-specific double-stranded DNA break formation at the intendedAAVS1target site at similarly high levels in both transformed and non-transformed cells. In conclusion, we demonstrate that adenoviral, but not lentiviral, vectors constitute a valuableTALENgene delivery platform.

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