Breakthrough recombinase technology ushers in precise, adaptable gene editing

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A team of researchers from the Karl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine, TUD Dresden University of Technology, led by Prof. Dr. Frank Buchholz has made a major breakthrough in genome editing technology. They developed a state-of-the-art approach that combines the power of designer-recombinase with programmable DNA-binding domains to create precise and adaptive genome editing tools.

Traditional genome editing has so far faced limitations in achieving ultimate accuracy. Professor Dr. Buchholz’s team broke through this barrier to create what many wanted: a zinc-finger conditional recombinase. This innovative approach involves integrating a zinc-finger DNA-binding domain into a specially designed recombinase. These enzymes remain inactive until the DNA-binding domain binds to its target site, adjacent to the recombinase binding area.

The significance of this achievement lies in the combination of two key strengths: the targeting ease of the programmable nuclease and the precise DNA editing ability of the recombinase. This overcomes the limitations existing in genome editing techniques and holds great promise for therapeutic gene editing and various biomedical applications.

Professor Dr. Buchholz expressed his excitement, “This advance represents a combination of existing genome editing tools, allowing us to create precise enzymes independent of the natural DNA repair process. This marks a significant step toward a safer and more adaptive approach to disease-causing genetics correction. Mutation , providing enormous benefits to countless patients.”
This pioneering work opens new horizons in genome surgery and promises a safer, more precise approach to treating genetic disorders. The implications of these advances are far-reaching, potentially transforming the landscape of medicine as we know it. In this context, Professor Esther Troost, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at TU Dresden, emphasized, “The Faculty of Medicine at TU Dresden is setting new standards for innovative medicine with groundbreaking genome editing tools. Led by Professor Frank Buchholz. “The research team is breaking traditional boundaries and paving the way for specialized gene therapy applications. doing.”

Building on these advances, Seamless Therapeutics GmbH, a biotechnology company founded out of the Buchholz lab, will advance these innovative findings into therapeutic applications. The company has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with TU Dresden for this novel technology that allows Seamless to further expand their recombinase platform to change the gene editing paradigm and develop a pipeline of disease-modifying product candidates.


Journal Reference:

Mukhametzanova, L., etc. (2024). Activation of recombinase at specific DNA loci by zinc-finger domain insertion. Nature Biotechnology.

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