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Karimova, Madina; Splith, Victoria; Karpinski, Janet; Pisabarro, M. Teresa and Buchholz, Frank (2016): Discovery of Nigri/nox and Panto/pox site-specific recombinase systems facilitates advanced genome engineering. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, 30130 [PDF, 1MB]

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Precise genome engineering is instrumental for biomedical research and holds great promise for future therapeutic applications. Site-specific recombinases (SSRs) are valuable tools for genome engineering due to their exceptional ability to mediate precise excision, integration and inversion of genomic DNA in living systems. The ever-increasing complexity of genome manipulations and the desire to understand the DNA-binding specificity of these enzymes are driving efforts to identify novel SSR systems with unique properties. Here, we describe two novel tyrosine site-specific recombination systems designated Nigri/nox and Panto/pox. Nigri originates from Vibrio nigripulchritudo (plasmid VIBNI_pA) and recombines its target site nox with high efficiency and high target-site selectivity, without recombining target sites of the well established SSRs Cre, Dre, Vika and VCre. Panto, derived from Pantoea sp. alpha B, is less specific and in addition to its native target site, pox also recombines the target site for Dre recombinase, called rox. This relaxed specificity allowed the identification of residues that are involved in target site selectivity, thereby advancing our understanding of how SSRs recognize their respective DNA targets.

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