Targeted linearization of DNA in vivo

Chien Ping Liang, William T. Garrard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past decade, site-specific chromosomal DNA cleavage mediated by DNA endonucleases has been used to examine diverse aspects of chromosome structure and function in eukaryotes, such as DNA topology, replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. Here we describe a method with which chromosomes can be linearized at any predefined position in vivo. Yeast homothallic switching endonuclease (HO endo), a sequence-specific double-strand nuclease involved in mating-type switching, is employed for targeting DNA cleavage. HO endo contains discrete functional domains: a N-terminal nuclease and a C-terminal DNA-binding domain, thereby allowing construction of a chimeric nuclease with the cutting site distinct from the original HO recognition sequence. The expression of the nuclease is engineered to be controlled by a tightly regulated, inducible promoter. The cut sites recognized by HO endo or its derivatives are introduced specifically at desired positions in the yeast genome by homologous recombination. Here we present experimental procedures and review some applications based on this approach in yeast and other biological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalMethods: A Companion to Methods in Enzymology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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