Cookie Preference

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. Please select an option.  Privacy Policy

No cookies except for those necessary for technical reasons are set.


Highly selective modification and detection of epigenetic target nucleobases via tailored TALEs

Prof. Daniel Summerer, University of Konstanz; Grzegorz Kubik, University of Konstanz; Sara Maurer, University of Konstanz; Mario Gieß, University of Konstanz



Epigenetic analyses close the gap between genetic predisposition (genotype) and appearance (phenotype). For the fine regulation of gene expression, there are different chemical switching elements that are located directly on the DNA. They can deactivate parts thereof, but do not change its structure. The actual expression of a genotype therefore depends on these regulation mechanisms and makes a specialization of cells possible in the first place. In times of personalized medicine, individual considerations of the genome are becoming more and more important, but epigenetics is also playing an increasingly significant role in medical prevention. It allows us to identify cancer, for instance, at a very early stage by detecting specific DNA methylation patterns.


The invention developed at the University of Konstanz allows for the highly selective detection of epigenetic nucleobases in freely selectable sequences. For the first time, the nucleobases selective, chemical modification of DNA is directly combined with TALEs or tailored TALE repeats (mutants). The modification leads to the enlargement of the structural difference between the target nucleobase type and other, non-modified nucleobases. This enables a selective discrimination of a specific, freely selectable target sequence. The procedure harnesses the different affinity of the specifically designed TALE regarding its binding to DNA double strands and enables a simple, high-resolution and selective analysis of epigenetic cytosine derivatives. The technology can be combined with conventional biotechnological methods such as PCR, gel electrophoresis, micro-arrays or NGS and can be easily integrated into existing processes.

Commercial Opportunity

Technologie-Lizenz-Büro GmbH is responsible for the exploitation of this technology and assists companies in obtaining licenses.- Highly selective detection of freely selectable epigenetic target sequence

  • Nucleobase selective modification of DNA to enlarge structural differences
  • Significant competitive advantage regarding sample integrity and instrumentation required
  • Combinable with a variety of well-known detection methods for sequence and concentration of target nucleic acids
  • Easy to integrate into existing processes

Development Status

Proof of concept

Patent Situation

An EP application (EP3214183A1) is pending.

Further Reading


Highly selective modification and detection of epigenetic target nucleobases via tailored TALEs

For the first time, a direct, programmable detection of nucleobases is enabled by using tailored TALEs.