Kim 2013, Nature Methods
Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator–like effector nucleases (TALENs) are of great interest for genome engineering in higher eukaryotic cells and organisms1, 2, 3, 4, 5. These enzymes contain the same FokI nuclease domain and induce site-specific DNA cleavage; the repair of this broken DNA via error-prone nonhomologous end joining gives rise to small insertions and deletions at the cleavage site, often disrupting genetic information. We have observed that, despite their similarities, ZFNs and TALENs are associated with different mutation patterns. We first compared ZFN and TALEN mutation signatures reported in the literature. We calculated the frequencies of insertions, deletions and complex patterns that include both insertions and deletions at target sites in mammalian cells, mammalian and nonmammalian organisms, and plants. Our analysis included a total of 1,456 mutant sequences at 122 target sites reported in 43 independent studies.