Mitochondrial diseases are commonly caused by mutated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which in most cases coexists with wild-type mtDNA, resulting in mtDNA heteroplasmy. We have engineered transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) to localize to mitochondria and cleave different classes of pathogenic mtDNA mutations. Mitochondria-targeted TALEN (mitoTALEN) expression led to permanent reductions in deletion or point-mutant mtDNA in patient-derived cells, raising the possibility that these mitochondrial nucleases can be therapeutic for some mitochondrial diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)