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Bibliography on: CRISPR-Cas

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing world-wide, free access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993.


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 25 Sep 2018 at 01:33 Created: 


Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR, pronounced crisper) are segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short repetitions of base sequences. Each repetition is followed by short segments of "spacer DNA" from previous exposures to foreign DNA (e.g a virus or plasmid). The CRISPR/Cas system is a prokaryotic immune system that confers resistance to foreign genetic elements such as those present within plasmids and phages, and provides a form of acquired immunity. CRISPR associated proteins (Cas) use the CRISPR spacers to recognize and cut these exogenous genetic elements in a manner analogous to RNA interference in eukaryotic organisms. CRISPRs are found in approximately 40% of sequenced bacterial genomes and 90% of sequenced archaea. By delivering the Cas9 nuclease complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA) into a cell, the cell's genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added. The Cas9-gRNA complex corresponds with the CAS III crRNA complex in the above diagram. CRISPR/Cas genome editing techniques have many potential applications, including altering the germline of humans, animals, and food crops. The use of CRISPR Cas9-gRNA complex for genome editing was the AAAS's choice for breakthrough of the year in 2015.

Created with PubMed® Query: "CRISPR.CAS" OR "crispr/cas" NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2018-09-24

Chabas H, Lion S, Nicot A, et al (2018)

Evolutionary emergence of infectious diseases in heterogeneous host populations.

PLoS biology, 16(9):e2006738 pii:pbio.2006738 [Epub ahead of print].

The emergence and re-emergence of pathogens remains a major public health concern. Unfortunately, when and where pathogens will (re-)emerge is notoriously difficult to predict, as the erratic nature of those events is reinforced by the stochastic nature of pathogen evolution during the early phase of an epidemic. For instance, mutations allowing pathogens to escape host resistance may boost pathogen spread and promote emergence. Yet, the ecological factors that govern such evolutionary emergence remain elusive because of the lack of ecological realism of current theoretical frameworks and the difficulty of experimentally testing their predictions. Here, we develop a theoretical model to explore the effects of the heterogeneity of the host population on the probability of pathogen emergence, with or without pathogen evolution. We show that evolutionary emergence and the spread of escape mutations in the pathogen population is more likely to occur when the host population contains an intermediate proportion of resistant hosts. We also show that the probability of pathogen emergence rapidly declines with the diversity of resistance in the host population. Experimental tests using lytic bacteriophages infecting their bacterial hosts containing Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat and CRISPR-associated (CRISPR-Cas) immune defenses confirm these theoretical predictions. These results suggest effective strategies for cross-species spillover and for the management of emerging infectious diseases.

RevDate: 2018-09-24

Hsu DS, Kornepati AV, Glover W, et al (2018)

Targeting HPV16 DNA using CRISPR/Cas inhibits anal cancer growth in vivo.

Future virology, 13(7):475-482.

Aim: The goal of this study was to determine if a single AAV vector, encoding Cas9 and guide RNAs specific for the HPV16 E6 and E7 genes, could inhibit the growth of an HPV16-induced tumor in vivo.

Materials & methods: We grew HPV16+, patient-derived anal cancer explants in immunodeficient mice and then challenged these by injection of AAV-based vectors encoding Cas9 and control or HPV16-specific guide RNAs.

Results & conclusion: We observed a significant and selective reduction in tumor growth when the HPV16 E6 and E7 genes were targeted using Cas9. These studies provide proof of principle for the hypothesis that CRISPR/Cas has the potential to be used to selectively treat HPV-induced tumors in humans.

RevDate: 2018-09-24

Koonin EV (2018)

Open questions: CRISPR biology.

BMC biology, 16(1):95 pii:10.1186/s12915-018-0565-9.

CRISPR-Cas systems, the purveyors of adaptive immunity in archaea and bacteria and sources of the new generation of genome engineering tools, have been studied in exquisite molecular detail. However, when it comes to biological functions, ecology, and evolution of CRISPR-Cas, many more intriguing questions remain than there are answers.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Cai B, Sun S, Li Z, et al (2018)

Application of CRISPR/Cas9 technologies combined with iPSCs in the study and treatment of retinal degenerative diseases.

Human genetics, 137(9):679-688.

Retinal degeneration diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, affect millions of people worldwide and are major causes of irreversible blindness. Effective treatments for retinal degeneration, including drug therapy, gene augmentation or transplantation approaches, have been widely investigated. Nevertheless, more research should be dedicated to therapeutic methods to improve future clinical treatments. Recently, with the rapid development of genome-editing technology, gene therapy has become a potentially effective treatment for retinal degeneration diseases. A clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system has been developed as a powerful genome-editing tool in ophthalmic studies. The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been widely applied in basic research to develop animal models and gene therapies in vivo. With the ability to self-renew and the potential to differentiate into different types of cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have already been used as a promising tool for understanding disease pathophysiology and evaluating the effect of drug and gene therapeutics. iPSCs are also a cell source for autologous transplantation. In this review, we compared genome-editing strategies and highlighted the advantages and concerns of the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Moreover, the latest progress and applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 system and its combination with iPSCs for the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases are summarized.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Piatek AA, Lenaghan SC, C Neal Stewart (Jr) (2018)

Advanced editing of the nuclear and plastid genomes in plants.

Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology, 273:42-49.

Genome editing is a powerful suite of technologies utilized in basic and applied plant research. Both nuclear and plastid genomes have been genetically engineered to alter traits in plants. While the most frequent molecular outcome of gene editing has been knockouts resulting in a simple deletion of an endogenous protein of interest from the host's proteome, new genes have been added to plant genomes and, in several instances, the sequence of endogenous genes have been targeted for a few coding changes. Targeted plant characteristics for genome editing range from single gene targets for agronomic input traits to metabolic pathways to endow novel plant function. In this paper, we review the fundamental approaches to editing nuclear and plastid genomes in plants with an emphasis on those utilizing synthetic biology. The differences between the eukaryotic-type nuclear genome and the prokaryotic-type plastid genome (plastome) in plants has profound consequences in the approaches employed to transform, edit, select transformants, and indeed, nearly all aspects of genetic engineering procedures. Thus, we will discuss the two genomes targeted for editing in plants, the toolbox used to make edits, along with strategies for future editing approaches to transform crop production and sustainability. While CRISPR/Cas9 is the current method of choice in editing nuclear genomes, the plastome is typically edited using homologous recombination approaches. A particularly promising synthetic biology approach is to replace the endogenous plastome with a 'synplastome' that is computationally designed, and synthesized and assembled in the lab, then installed into chloroplasts. The editing strategies, transformation methods, characteristics of the novel plant also affect how the genetically engineered plant may be governed and regulated. Each of these components and final products of gene editing affect the future of biotechnology and farming.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Vazquez-Vilar M, Orzaez D, N Patron (2018)

DNA assembly standards: Setting the low-level programming code for plant biotechnology.

Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology, 273:33-41.

Synthetic Biology is defined as the application of engineering principles to biology. It aims to increase the speed, ease and predictability with which desirable changes and novel traits can be conferred to living cells. The initial steps in this process aim to simplify the encoding of new instructions in DNA by establishing low-level programming languages for biology. Together with advances in the laboratory that allow multiple DNA molecules to be efficiently assembled together into a desired order in a single step, this approach has simplified the design and assembly of multigene constructs and has even facilitated the automated construction of synthetic chromosomes. These advances and technologies are now being applied to plants, for which there are a growing number of software and wetware tools for the design, construction and delivery of DNA molecules and for the engineering of endogenous genes. Here we review the efforts of the past decade that have established synthetic biology workflows and tools for plants and discuss the constraints and bottlenecks of this emerging field.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Meng F, Zhao D, Zhou Q, et al (2018)

[Construction of EZH2 Knockout Animal Model by CRISPR/Cas9 Technology].

Zhongguo fei ai za zhi = Chinese journal of lung cancer, 21(5):358-364.

BACKGROUND: It has been proven that CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated 9) system was the modern gene-editing technology through the constitutive expression of nucleases Cas9 in the mammalian, which binds to the specific site in the genome mediated by single-guide RNA (sgRNA) at desired genomic loci. The aim of this study is that the animal model of EZH2 gene knockout was constructed using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

METHODS: In this study, we designed two single-guide RNAs targeting the Exon3 and Exon4 of EZH2 gene. Then, their gene-targeting efficiency were detected by SURVEYOR assay. The lentivirus was perfused into the lungs of mice by using a bronchial tube and detected by immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR.

RESULTS: The experimental results of NIH-3T3 cells verify that the designed sgEZH2 can efficiently effect the cleavage of target DNA by Cas9 in vitro. The immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR results showed that the EZH2 expression in experimental group was significantly decreased in the mouse lung tissue.

CONCLUSIONS: The study successfully designed two sgRNA which can play a knock-out EZH2 function. An EZH2 knockout animal model was successfully constructed by CRISPR/Cas9 system, and it will be an effective animal model for studying the functions and mechanisms of EZH2.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Mollanoori H, S Teimourian (2018)

Therapeutic applications of CRISPR/Cas9 system in gene therapy.

Biotechnology letters, 40(6):907-914.

Gene therapy is based on the principle of the genetic manipulation of DNA or RNA for treating and preventing human diseases. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated nuclease9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system, derived from the acquired immune system in bacteria and archaea, has provided a new tool for accurate manipulation of genomic sequence to attain a therapeutic result. The advantage of CRISPR which made it an easy and flexible tool for diverse genome editing purposes is that a single protein (Cas9) complex with 2 short RNA sequences, function as a site-specific endonuclease. Recently, application of CRISPR/Cas9 system has become popular for therapeutic aims such as gene therapy. In this article, we review the fundamental mechanisms of CRISPR-Cas9 function and summarize preclinical CRISPR-mediated gene therapy reports on a wide variety of disorders.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Wang B, Hu Q, Zhang Y, et al (2018)

A RecET-assisted CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in Corynebacterium glutamicum.

Microbial cell factories, 17(1):63 pii:10.1186/s12934-018-0910-2.

BACKGROUND: Extensive modification of genome is an efficient manner to regulate the metabolic network for producing target metabolites or non-native products using Corynebacterium glutamicum as a cell factory. Genome editing approaches by means of homologous recombination and counter-selection markers are laborious and time consuming due to multiple round manipulations and low editing efficiencies. The current two-plasmid-based CRISPR-Cas9 editing methods generate false positives due to the potential instability of Cas9 on the plasmid, and require a high transformation efficiency for co-occurrence of two plasmids transformation.

RESULTS: Here, we developed a RecET-assisted CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing method using a chromosome-borne Cas9-RecET and a single plasmid harboring sgRNA and repair templates. The inducible expression of chromosomal RecET promoted the frequencies of homologous recombination, and increased the efficiency for gene deletion. Due to the high transformation efficiency of a single plasmid, this method enabled 10- and 20-kb region deletion, 2.5-, 5.7- and 7.5-kb expression cassette insertion and precise site-specific mutation, suggesting a versatility of this method. Deletion of argR and farR regulators as well as site-directed mutation of argB and pgi genes generated the mutant capable of accumulating L-arginine, indicating the stability of chromosome-borne Cas9 for iterative genome editing. Using this method, the model-predicted target genes were modified to redirect metabolic flux towards 1,2-propanediol biosynthetic pathway. The final engineered strain produced 6.75 ± 0.46 g/L of 1,2-propanediol that is the highest titer reported in C. glutamicum. Furthermore, this method is available for Corynebacterium pekinense 1.563, suggesting its universal applicability in other Corynebacterium species.

CONCLUSIONS: The RecET-assisted CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing method will facilitate engineering of metabolic networks for the synthesis of interested bio-based products from renewable biomass using Corynebacterium species as cell factories.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Zhang JL, Peng YZ, Liu D, et al (2018)

Gene repression via multiplex gRNA strategy in Y. lipolytica.

Microbial cell factories, 17(1):62 pii:10.1186/s12934-018-0909-8.

BACKGROUND: The oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica is a promising microbial cell factory due to their biochemical characteristics and native capacity to accumulate lipid-based chemicals. To create heterogenous biosynthesis pathway and manipulate metabolic flux in Y. lipolytica, numerous studies have been done for developing synthetic biology tools for gene regulation. CRISPR interference (CRISPRi), as an emerging technology, has been applied for specifically repressing genes of interest.

RESULTS: In this study, we established CRISPRi systems in Y. lipolytica based on four different repressors, that was DNase-deactivated Cpf1 (dCpf1) from Francisella novicida, deactivated Cas9 (dCas9) from Streptococcus pyogenes, and two fusion proteins (dCpf1-KRAB and dCas9-KRAB). Ten gRNAs that bound to different regions of gfp gene were designed and the results indicated that there was no clear correlation between the repression efficiency and targeting sites no matter which repressor protein was used. In order to rapidly yield strong gene repression, a multiplex gRNAs strategy based on one-step Golden-brick assembly technology was developed. High repression efficiency 85% (dCpf1) and 92% (dCas9) were achieved in a short time by making three different gRNAs towards gfp gene simultaneously, which avoided the need of screening effective gRNA loci in advance. Moreover, two genes interference including gfp and vioE and three genes repression including vioA, vioB and vioE in protodeoxy-violaceinic acid pathway were also realized.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, successful CRISPRi-mediated regulation of gene expression via four different repressors dCpf1, dCas9, dCpf1-KRAB and dCas9-KRAB in Y. lipolytica is achieved. And we demonstrate a multiplexed gRNA targeting strategy can efficiently achieve transcriptional simultaneous repression of several targeted genes and different sites of one gene using the one-step Golden-brick assembly. This timesaving method promised to be a potent transformative tool valuable for metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and functional genomic studies of Y. lipolytica.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Zakany J, D Duboule (2018)

Rescue of an aggressive female sexual courtship in mice by CRISPR/Cas9 secondary mutation in vivo.

BMC research notes, 11(1):193 pii:10.1186/s13104-018-3307-8.

OBJECTIVE: We had previously reported a mouse line carrying the Atypical female courtship (HoxD Afc) allele, where an ectopic accumulation of Hoxd10 transcripts was observed in a sparse population of cells in the adult isocortex, as a result of a partial deletion of the HoxD gene cluster. Female mice carrying this allele displayed an exacerbated paracopulatory behavior, culminating in a severe mutilation of the studs' external genitals. To unequivocally demonstrate that this intriguing phenotype was indeed caused by an illegitimate function of the HOXD10 protein, we use CRISPR/Cas9 technology to induce a microdeletion into the homeobox of the Hoxd10 gene in cis with the HoxD Afc allele.

RESULTS: Females carrying this novel HoxDDel(1-9)d10hd allele no longer mutilate males. We conclude that a brain malfunction leading to a severe pathological behavior can be caused by the mere binding to DNA of a transcription factor expressed ectopically. We also show that in HoxD Afc mice, Hoxd10 was expressed in cells containing glutamate decarboxylase (Gad1) and Cholecystokinin (Cck) transcripts, corroborating our proposal that a small fraction of GABAergic neurons in adult hippocampus may participate to some aspects of female courtship.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Lee KA, Cho KC, Kim B, et al (2018)

Inflammation-Modulated Metabolic Reprogramming Is Required for DUOX-Dependent Gut Immunity in Drosophila.

Cell host & microbe, 23(3):338-352.e5.

DUOX, a member of the NADPH oxidase family, acts as the first line of defense against enteric pathogens by producing microbicidal reactive oxygen species. DUOX is activated upon enteric infection, but the mechanisms regulating DUOX activity remain incompletely understood. Using Drosophila genetic tools, we show that enteric infection results in "pro-catabolic" signaling that initiates metabolic reprogramming of enterocytes toward lipid catabolism, which ultimately governs DUOX homeostasis. Infection induces signaling cascades involving TRAF3 and kinases AMPK and WTS, which regulate TOR kinase to control the balance of lipogenesis versus lipolysis. Enhancing lipogenesis blocks DUOX activity, whereas stimulating lipolysis via ATG1-dependent lipophagy is required for DUOX activation. Drosophila with altered activity in TRAF3-AMPK/WTS-ATG1 pathway components exhibit abolished infection-induced lipolysis, reduced DUOX activation, and enhanced susceptibility to enteric infection. Thus, this work uncovers signaling cascades governing inflammation-induced metabolic reprogramming and provides insight into the pathophysiology of immune-metabolic interactions in the microbe-laden gut epithelia.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Zhang J, Zhang H, Botella JR, et al (2018)

Generation of new glutinous rice by CRISPR/Cas9-targeted mutagenesis of the Waxy gene in elite rice varieties.

Journal of integrative plant biology, 60(5):369-375.

In rice, amylose content (AC) is controlled by a single dominant Waxy gene. We used Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9) to introduce a loss-of-function mutation into the Waxy gene in two widely cultivated elite japonica varieties. Our results show that mutations in the Waxy gene reduce AC and convert the rice into glutinous ones without affecting other desirable agronomic traits, offering an effective and easy strategy to improve glutinosity in elite varieties. Importantly, we successfully removed the transgenes from the progeny. Our study provides an example of generating improved crops with potential for commercialization, by editing a gene of interest directly in elite crop varieties.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Carlson-Stevermer J, Abdeen AA, Kohlenberg L, et al (2017)

Assembly of CRISPR ribonucleoproteins with biotinylated oligonucleotides via an RNA aptamer for precise gene editing.

Nature communications, 8(1):1711 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01875-9.

Writing specific DNA sequences into the human genome is challenging with non-viral gene-editing reagents, since most of the edited sequences contain various imprecise insertions or deletions. We developed a modular RNA aptamer-streptavidin strategy, termed S1mplex, to complex CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins with a nucleic acid donor template, as well as other biotinylated molecules such as quantum dots. In human cells, tailored S1mplexes increase the ratio of precisely edited to imprecisely edited alleles up to 18-fold higher than standard gene-editing methods, and enrich cell populations containing multiplexed precise edits up to 42-fold. These advances with versatile, preassembled reagents could greatly reduce the time and cost of in vitro or ex vivo gene-editing applications in precision medicine and drug discovery and aid in the development of increased and serial dosing regimens for somatic gene editing in vivo.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Mikheikin A, Olsen A, Leslie K, et al (2017)

DNA nanomapping using CRISPR-Cas9 as a programmable nanoparticle.

Nature communications, 8(1):1665 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01891-9.

Progress in whole-genome sequencing using short-read (e.g., <150 bp), next-generation sequencing technologies has reinvigorated interest in high-resolution physical mapping to fill technical gaps that are not well addressed by sequencing. Here, we report two technical advances in DNA nanotechnology and single-molecule genomics: (1) we describe a labeling technique (CRISPR-Cas9 nanoparticles) for high-speed AFM-based physical mapping of DNA and (2) the first successful demonstration of using DVD optics to image DNA molecules with high-speed AFM. As a proof of principle, we used this new "nanomapping" method to detect and map precisely BCL2-IGH translocations present in lymph node biopsies of follicular lymphoma patents. This HS-AFM "nanomapping" technique can be complementary to both sequencing and other physical mapping approaches.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Sherkow JS (2017)

Inventive steps: the CRISPR patent dispute and scientific progress: The recent patent decisions about CRISPR tell us a lot about how advances in biology are actually made-and how they are not.

EMBO reports, 18(7):1047-1051.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Kraus Y, Aman A, Technau U, et al (2016)

Pre-bilaterian origin of the blastoporal axial organizer.

Nature communications, 7:11694 pii:ncomms11694.

The startling capacity of the amphibian Spemann organizer to induce naïve cells to form a Siamese twin embryo with a second set of body axes is one of the hallmarks of developmental biology. However, the axis-inducing potential of the blastopore-associated tissue is commonly regarded as a chordate feature. Here we show that the blastopore lip of a non-bilaterian metazoan, the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, possesses the same capacity and uses the same molecular mechanism for inducing extra axes as chordates: Wnt/β-catenin signaling. We also demonstrate that the establishment of the secondary, directive axis in Nematostella by BMP signaling is sensitive to an initial Wnt signal, but once established the directive axis becomes Wnt-independent. By combining molecular analysis with experimental embryology, we provide evidence that the emergence of the Wnt/β-catenin driven blastopore-associated axial organizer predated the cnidarian-bilaterian split over 600 million years ago.

RevDate: 2018-09-24
CmpDate: 2018-09-24

Mansouri M, Bellon-Echeverria I, Rizk A, et al (2016)

Highly efficient baculovirus-mediated multigene delivery in primary cells.

Nature communications, 7:11529 pii:ncomms11529.

Multigene delivery and subsequent cellular expression is emerging as a key technology required in diverse research fields including, synthetic and structural biology, cellular reprogramming and functional pharmaceutical screening. Current viral delivery systems such as retro- and adenoviruses suffer from limited DNA cargo capacity, thus impeding unrestricted multigene expression. We developed MultiPrime, a modular, non-cytotoxic, non-integrating, baculovirus-based vector system expediting highly efficient transient multigene expression from a variety of promoters. MultiPrime viruses efficiently transduce a wide range of cell types, including non-dividing primary neurons and induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPS). We show that MultiPrime can be used for reprogramming, and for genome editing and engineering by CRISPR/Cas9. Moreover, we implemented dual-host-specific cassettes enabling multiprotein expression in insect and mammalian cells using a single reagent. Our experiments establish MultiPrime as a powerful and highly efficient tool, to deliver multiple genes for a wide range of applications in primary and established mammalian cells.

RevDate: 2018-09-22

Zhang C, Konermann S, Brideau NJ, et al (2018)

Structural Basis for the RNA-Guided Ribonuclease Activity of CRISPR-Cas13d.

Cell, 175(1):212-223.e17.

CRISPR-Cas endonucleases directed against foreign nucleic acids mediate prokaryotic adaptive immunity and have been tailored for broad genetic engineering applications. Type VI-D CRISPR systems contain the smallest known family of single effector Cas enzymes, and their signature Cas13d ribonuclease employs guide RNAs to cleave matching target RNAs. To understand the molecular basis for Cas13d function and explain its compact molecular architecture, we resolved cryoelectron microscopy structures of Cas13d-guide RNA binary complex and Cas13d-guide-target RNA ternary complex to 3.4 and 3.3 Å resolution, respectively. Furthermore, a 6.5 Å reconstruction of apo Cas13d combined with hydrogen-deuterium exchange revealed conformational dynamics that have implications for RNA scanning. These structures, together with biochemical and cellular characterization, provide insights into its RNA-guided, RNA-targeting mechanism and delineate a blueprint for the rational design of improved transcriptome engineering technologies.

RevDate: 2018-09-21

Han W, Stella S, Zhang Y, et al (2018)

A Type III-B Cmr effector complex catalyzes the synthesis of cyclic oligoadenylate second messengers by cooperative substrate binding.

Nucleic acids research pii:5103948 [Epub ahead of print].

Recently, Type III-A CRISPR-Cas systems were found to catalyze the synthesis of cyclic oligoadenylates (cOAs), a second messenger that specifically activates Csm6, a Cas accessory RNase and confers antiviral defense in bacteria. To test if III-B CRISPR-Cas systems could mediate a similar CRISPR signaling pathway, the Sulfolobus islandicus Cmr-α ribonucleoprotein complex (Cmr-α-RNP) was purified from the native host and tested for cOA synthesis. We found that the system showed a robust production of cyclic tetra-adenylate (c-A4), and that c-A4 functions as a second messenger to activate the III-B-associated RNase Csx1 by binding to its CRISPR-associated Rossmann Fold domain. Investigation of the kinetics of cOA synthesis revealed that Cmr-α-RNP displayed positively cooperative binding to the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) substrate. Furthermore, mutagenesis of conserved domains in Cmr2α confirmed that, while Palm 2 hosts the active site of cOA synthesis, Palm 1 domain serves as the primary site in the enzyme-substrate interaction. Together, our data suggest that the two Palm domains cooperatively interact with ATP molecules to achieve a robust cOA synthesis by the III-B CRISPR-Cas system.

RevDate: 2018-09-21

Haverkamp THA, Geslin C, Lossouarn J, et al (2018)

Thermosipho spp. immune system differences affect variation in genome size and geographical distributions.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5098298 [Epub ahead of print].

Thermosipho species inhabit thermal environments such as marine hydrothermal vents, petroleum reservoirs and terrestrial hot springs. A 16S rRNA phylogeny of available Thermosipho spp. sequences suggested habitat specialists adapted to living in hydrothermal vents only, and habitat generalists inhabiting oil reservoirs, hydrothermal vents and hotsprings. Comparative genomics of 15 Thermosipho genomes separated them into three distinct species with different habitat distributions: the widely distributed T. africanus and the more specialized, T. melanesiensis and T. affectus. Moreover, the species can be differentiated on the basis of genome size, genome content and immune system composition. For instance, the T. africanus genomes are largest and contained the most carbohydrate metabolism genes, which could explain why these isolates were obtained from ecologically more divergent habitats. Nonetheless, all the Thermosipho genomes, like other Thermotogae genomes, show evidence of genome streamlining. Genome size differences between the species could further be correlated to differences in defense capacities against foreign DNA, which influence recombination via HGT. The smallest genomes are found in T. affectus that contain both CRISPR-cas Type I and III systems, but no RM system genes. We suggest that this has caused these genomes to be almost devoid of mobile elements, contrasting the two other species genomes that contain a higher abundance of mobile elements combined with different immune system configurations. Taken together, the comparative genomic analyses of Thermosipho spp. revealed genetic variation allowing habitat differentiation within the genus as well as differentiation with respect to invading mobile DNA.

RevDate: 2018-09-21

Shi TQ, Huang H, Kerkhoven EJ, et al (2018)

Advancing metabolic engineering of Yarrowia lipolytica using the CRISPR/Cas system.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology pii:10.1007/s00253-018-9366-x [Epub ahead of print].

The oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica is widely used for the production of both bulk and fine chemicals, including organic acids, fatty acid-derived biofuels and chemicals, polyunsaturated fatty acids, single-cell proteins, terpenoids, and other valuable products. Consequently, it is becoming increasingly popular for metabolic engineering applications. Multiple gene manipulation tools including URA blast, Cre/LoxP, and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) have been developed for metabolic engineering in Y. lipolytica. However, the low efficiency and time-consuming procedures involved in these methods hamper further research. The emergence of the CRISPR/Cas system offers a potential solution for these problems due to its high efficiency, ease of operation, and time savings, which can significantly accelerate the genomic engineering of Y. lipolytica. In this review, we summarize the research progress on the development of CRISPR/Cas systems for Y. lipolytica, including Cas9 proteins and sgRNA expression strategies, as well as gene knock-out/knock-in and repression/activation applications. Finally, the most promising and tantalizing future prospects in this area are highlighted.

RevDate: 2018-09-21
CmpDate: 2018-09-21

Wang W, X Wang (2017)

Single-cell CRISPR screening in drug resistance.

Cell biology and toxicology, 33(3):207-210.

RevDate: 2018-09-20

Lander N, Chiurillo MA, Bertolini MS, et al (2018)

Calcium-sensitive pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase is required for energy metabolism, growth, differentiation, and infectivity of Trypanosoma cruzi.

The Journal of biological chemistry pii:RA118.004498 [Epub ahead of print].

In vertebrate cells, mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake by the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) leads to Ca2+-mediated stimulation of an intramitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase (PDP). This enzyme dephosphorylates serine residues in the E1α subunit of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), thereby activating PDH and resulting in increased ATP production. Although a phosphorylation-dephosphorylation cycle for the E1α subunit of PDH from non-vertebrate organisms has been described, the Ca2+-mediated PDP activation has not been studied. In this work we investigated the Ca2+ sensitivity of two recombinant PDPs from the protozoan human parasites Trypanosoma cruzi (TcPDP) and Trypanosoma brucei (TbPDP) and generated a TcPDP-KO cell line to establish TcPDP's role in cell bioenergetics and survival. Moreover, the mitochondrial localization of the TcPDP was studied by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated endogenous tagging. Our results indicate that TcPDP and TbPDP both are Ca2+-sensitive phosphatases. Of note, TcPDP-KO epimastigotes exhibited increased levels of phosphorylated TcPDH, slower growth and lower oxygen consumption rates than control cells, an increased AMP:ATP ratio and autophagy under starvation conditions, and reduced differentiation into infective metacyclic forms. Furthermore, TcPDP-KO trypomastigotes were impaired in infecting culture host cells. We conclude that TcPDP is a Ca2+-stimulated mitochondrial phosphatase that dephosphorylates TcPDH and is required for normal growth, differentiation, infectivity and energy metabolism in T. cruzi. Our results support the view that one of the main roles of the MCU is linked to the regulation of intramitochondrial dehydrogenases.

RevDate: 2018-09-20
CmpDate: 2018-09-20

Huang J, Li J, Zhou J, et al (2018)

Identifying a large number of high-yield genes in rice by pedigree analysis, whole-genome sequencing, and CRISPR-Cas9 gene knockout.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(32):E7559-E7567.

Repeated artificial selection of a complex trait facilitates the identification of genes underlying the trait, especially if multiple selected descendant lines are available. Here we developed a pedigree-based approach to identify genes underlying the Green Revolution (GR) phenotype. From a pedigree analysis, we selected 30 cultivars including the "miracle rice" IR8, a GR landmark, its ancestors and descendants, and also other related cultivars for identifying high-yield genes. Through sequencing of these genomes, we identified 28 ancestral chromosomal blocks that were maintained in all the high-yield cultivars under study. In these blocks, we identified six genes of known function, including the GR gene sd1, and 123 loci with genes of unknown function. We randomly selected 57 genes from the 123 loci for knockout or knockdown studies and found that a high proportion of these genes are essential or have phenotypic effects related to rice production. Notably, knockout lines have significant changes in plant height (P < 0.003), a key GR trait, compared with wild-type lines. Some gene knockouts or knockdowns were especially interesting. For example, knockout of Os10g0555100, a putative glucosyltransferase gene, showed both reduced growth and altered panicle architecture. In addition, we found that in some retained chromosome blocks several GR-related genes were clustered, although they have unrelated sequences, suggesting clustering of genes with similar functions. In conclusion, we have identified many high-yield genes in rice. Our method provides a powerful means to identify genes associated with a specific trait.

RevDate: 2018-09-20
CmpDate: 2018-09-20

Banerjee S, Ji C, Mayfield JE, et al (2018)

Ancient drug curcumin impedes 26S proteasome activity by direct inhibition of dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase 2.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(32):8155-8160.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in Curcuma longa, has been in medicinal use since ancient times. However, the therapeutic targets and signaling cascades modulated by curcumin have been enigmatic despite extensive research. Here we identify dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase 2 (DYRK2), a positive regulator of the 26S proteasome, as a direct target of curcumin. Curcumin occupies the ATP-binding pocket of DYRK2 in the cocrystal structure, and it potently and specifically inhibits DYRK2 over 139 other kinases tested in vitro. As a result, curcumin diminishes DYRK2-mediated 26S proteasome phosphorylation in cells, leading to reduced proteasome activity and impaired cell proliferation. Interestingly, curcumin synergizes with the therapeutic proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib to induce apoptosis in a variety of proteasome-addicted cancer cells, while this drug combination exhibits modest to no cytotoxicity to noncancerous cells. In a breast cancer xenograft model, curcumin treatment significantly reduces tumor burden in immunocompromised mice, showing a similar antitumor effect as CRISPR/Cas9-mediated DYRK2 depletion. These results reveal an unexpected role of curcumin in DYRK2-proteasome inhibition and provide a proof-of-concept that pharmacological manipulation of proteasome regulators may offer new opportunities for anticancer treatment.

RevDate: 2018-09-20
CmpDate: 2018-09-20

Ishino T, Hashimoto M, Amagasa M, et al (2018)

Establishment of protocol for preparation of gene-edited bovine ear-derived fibroblasts for somatic cell nuclear transplantation.

Biomedical research (Tokyo, Japan), 39(2):95-104.

Recently, gene-editing using the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/ CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) technique has attempted to utilize fibroblasts of livestock animals for somatic cell nuclear transfer. In this study, we establish the procedure for preparing skin fibroblast clones whose genes were edited by the CRISPR/Cas9 technique. After isolating fibroblasts from earlobes of Japanese Black cattle, subsequent collagenase-digestion and extensive wash procedures enabled us to avoid contamination of fungi. Electroporation using NEPA21, rather than lipofection using commercially available liposome reagents, allowed us to perform more efficient transfection of plasmid constructs. Although bovine ear-derived fibroblasts were not able to proliferate in single cell cultures in Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium containing 10% fetal calf serum, supplementation with insulin-transferrin-selenium mixture, human recombinant epidermal growth factor, or human recombinant basic fibroblast growth factor promoted proliferation of the cells, even in a single cell culture. Taking advantage of our established protocol, we eventually obtained eight ear-derived fibroblast clones with a recessive mutation in the isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase gene corrected by the CRISPR/Cas9 technique.

RevDate: 2018-09-20
CmpDate: 2018-09-20

Su X, Cui K, Du S, et al (2018)

Efficient genome editing in cultured cells and embryos of Debao pig and swamp buffalo using the CRISPR/Cas9 system.

In vitro cellular & developmental biology. Animal, 54(5):375-383.

Myostatin (MSTN), a protein encoded by growth differentiation factor 8 (GDF8), is primarily expressed in skeletal muscle and negatively regulates the development and regeneration of muscle. Accordingly, myostatin-deficient animals exhibit a double-muscling phenotype. The CRISPR/Cas9 system has proven to be an efficient genome-editing tool and has been applied to gene modification in cells from many model organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster, zebrafish, mouse, rat, sheep, and human. Here, we edited the GDF8 gene in fibroblasts and embryos of Debao pig and swamp buffalo using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutation efficiency in fibroblasts was as high as 87.5% in pig and 78.9% in buffalo. We then obtained single-cell clones with mutations at the specific sites of the GDF8 gene by screening with G418 in fibroblasts of pig and buffalo. In addition, the frequencies of Cas9/gRNA-mediated mutations were at 36 and 25% in the intracytoplasmic sperm injection embryos of pig and in vitro fertilization embryos of buffalo, respectively. Our work demonstrates that the Cas9/gRNA system is a highly efficient and fast tool for genome editing in cultured cells and embryos of Debao pig and swamp buffalo. These results can be helpful for the establishment of a new animal strain that can generate more meat.

RevDate: 2018-09-20
CmpDate: 2018-09-20

Yasuda H, Kim E, Reza AM, et al (2016)

A highly efficient method for enriching TALEN or CRISPR/Cas9-edited mutant cells.

Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao, 43(12):705-708.

RevDate: 2018-09-20
CmpDate: 2018-09-20

Xu R, Yang Y, Qin R, et al (2016)

Rapid improvement of grain weight via highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated multiplex genome editing in rice.

Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao, 43(8):529-532.

RevDate: 2018-09-20
CmpDate: 2018-09-20

Fu Y, Rocha PP, Luo VM, et al (2016)

CRISPR-dCas9 and sgRNA scaffolds enable dual-colour live imaging of satellite sequences and repeat-enriched individual loci.

Nature communications, 7:11707 pii:ncomms11707.

Imaging systems that allow visualization of specific loci and nuclear structures are highly relevant for investigating how organizational changes within the nucleus play a role in regulating gene expression and other cellular processes. Here we present a live imaging system for targeted detection of genomic regions. Our approach involves generating chimaeric transcripts of viral RNAs (MS2 and PP7) and single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs), which when co-expressed with a cleavage-deficient Cas9 can recruit fluorescently tagged viral RNA-binding proteins (MCP and PCP) to specific genomic sites. This allows for rapid, stable, low-background visualization of target loci. We demonstrate the efficiency and flexibility of our method by simultaneously labelling major and minor satellite regions as well as two individual loci on mouse chromosome 12. This system provides a tool for dual-colour labelling, which is important for tracking the dynamics of chromatin interactions and for validating epigenetic processes identified in fixed cells.

RevDate: 2018-09-19

Reimer KA, KM Neugebauer (2018)

Blood Relatives: Splicing Mechanisms underlying Erythropoiesis in Health and Disease.

F1000Research, 7:.

During erythropoiesis, hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells transition to erythroblasts en route to terminal differentiation into enucleated red blood cells. Transcriptome-wide changes underlie distinct morphological and functional characteristics at each cell division during this process. Many studies of gene expression have historically been carried out in erythroblasts, and the biogenesis of β-globin mRNA-the most highly expressed transcript in erythroblasts-was the focus of many seminal studies on the mechanisms of pre-mRNA splicing. We now understand that pre-mRNA splicing plays an important role in shaping the transcriptome of developing erythroblasts. Recent advances have provided insight into the role of alternative splicing and intron retention as important regulatory mechanisms of erythropoiesis. However, dysregulation of splicing during erythropoiesis is also a cause of several hematological diseases, including β-thalassemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. With a growing understanding of the role that splicing plays in these diseases, we are well poised to develop gene-editing treatments. In this review, we focus on changes in the developing erythroblast transcriptome caused by alternative splicing, the molecular basis of splicing-related blood diseases, and therapeutic advances in disease treatment using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.

RevDate: 2018-09-19
CmpDate: 2018-09-19

Grevet JD, Lan X, Hamagami N, et al (2018)

Domain-focused CRISPR screen identifies HRI as a fetal hemoglobin regulator in human erythroid cells.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 361(6399):285-290.

Increasing fetal hemoglobin (HbF) levels in adult red blood cells provides clinical benefit to patients with sickle cell disease and some forms of β-thalassemia. To identify potentially druggable HbF regulators in adult human erythroid cells, we employed a protein kinase domain-focused CRISPR-Cas9-based genetic screen with a newly optimized single-guide RNA scaffold. The screen uncovered the heme-regulated inhibitor HRI (also known as EIF2AK1), an erythroid-specific kinase that controls protein translation, as an HbF repressor. HRI depletion markedly increased HbF production in a specific manner and reduced sickling in cultured erythroid cells. Diminished expression of the HbF repressor BCL11A accounted in large part for the effects of HRI depletion. Taken together, these results suggest HRI as a potential therapeutic target for hemoglobinopathies.

RevDate: 2018-09-19
CmpDate: 2018-09-19

Champer J, Liu J, Oh SY, et al (2018)

Reducing resistance allele formation in CRISPR gene drive.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(21):5522-5527.

CRISPR homing gene drives can convert heterozygous cells with one copy of the drive allele into homozygotes, thereby enabling super-Mendelian inheritance. Such a mechanism could be used, for example, to rapidly disseminate a genetic payload in a population, promising effective strategies for the control of vector-borne diseases. However, all CRISPR homing gene drives studied in insects thus far have produced significant quantities of resistance alleles that would limit their spread. In this study, we provide an experimental demonstration that multiplexing of guide RNAs can both significantly increase the drive conversion efficiency and reduce germline resistance rates of a CRISPR homing gene drive in Drosophila melanogaster We further show that an autosomal drive can achieve drive conversion in the male germline, with no subsequent formation of resistance alleles in embryos through paternal carryover of Cas9. Finally, we find that the nanos promoter significantly lowers somatic Cas9 expression compared with the vasa promoter, suggesting that nanos provides a superior choice in drive strategies where gene disruption in somatic cells could have fitness costs. Comparison of drive parameters among the different constructs developed in this study and a previous study suggests that, while drive conversion and germline resistance rates are similar between different genomic targets, embryo resistance rates can vary significantly. Taken together, our results mark an important step toward developing effective gene drives capable of functioning in natural populations and provide several possible avenues for further control of resistance rates.

RevDate: 2018-09-19
CmpDate: 2018-09-19

He J, Zhang W, Li A, et al (2018)

Knockout of NCOA5 impairs proliferation and migration of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by suppressing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.

Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 500(2):177-183.

Nuclear receptor coactivator 5 (NCOA5) plays important roles in the development of a variety of malignancies. However, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. In this study, we successfully generated the NCOA5 knockout hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells by CRISPR/Cas9 - mediated genome editing and found that knockout of NCOA5 inhibited the proliferation and tumor microsphere formation of HCC cells significantly. Moreover, the migration ability of NCOA5 knockout HCC cells declined. Mechanistic analyses indicated that knockout of NCOA5 can suppress the epithelial - mesenchymal transition (EMT) in HCC cells. In conclusion, our findings provide a mechanistic insight into the role of NCOA5 in HCC progression.

RevDate: 2018-09-19
CmpDate: 2018-09-19

Burguera D, Marquez Y, Racioppi C, et al (2017)

Evolutionary recruitment of flexible Esrp-dependent splicing programs into diverse embryonic morphogenetic processes.

Nature communications, 8(1):1799 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01961-y.

Epithelial-mesenchymal interactions are crucial for the development of numerous animal structures. Thus, unraveling how molecular tools are recruited in different lineages to control interplays between these tissues is key to understanding morphogenetic evolution. Here, we study Esrp genes, which regulate extensive splicing programs and are essential for mammalian organogenesis. We find that Esrp homologs have been independently recruited for the development of multiple structures across deuterostomes. Although Esrp is involved in a wide variety of ontogenetic processes, our results suggest ancient roles in non-neural ectoderm and regulating specific mesenchymal-to-epithelial transitions in deuterostome ancestors. However, consistent with the extensive rewiring of Esrp-dependent splicing programs between phyla, most developmental defects observed in vertebrate mutants are related to other types of morphogenetic processes. This is likely connected to the origin of an event in Fgfr, which was recruited as an Esrp target in stem chordates and subsequently co-opted into the development of many novel traits in vertebrates.

RevDate: 2018-09-19
CmpDate: 2018-09-19

Huai C, Li G, Yao R, et al (2017)

Structural insights into DNA cleavage activation of CRISPR-Cas9 system.

Nature communications, 8(1):1375 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01496-2.

CRISPR-Cas9 technology has been widely used for genome engineering. Its RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 binds specifically to target DNA and then cleaves the two DNA strands with HNH and RuvC nuclease domains. However, structural information regarding the DNA cleavage-activating state of two nuclease domains remains sparse. Here, we report a 5.2 Å cryo-EM structure of Cas9 in complex with sgRNA and target DNA. This structure reveals a conformational state of Cas9 in which the HNH domain is closest to the DNA cleavage site. Compared with two known HNH states, our structure shows that the HNH active site moves toward the cleavage site by about 25 and 13 Å, respectively. In combination with EM-based molecular dynamics simulations, we show that residues of the nuclease domains in our structure could form cleavage-compatible conformations with the target DNA. Together, these results strongly suggest that our cryo-EM structure resembles a DNA cleavage-activating architecture of Cas9.

RevDate: 2018-09-19
CmpDate: 2018-09-19

Anonymous (2017)

A race to bring CRISPR to the clinic.

EBioMedicine, 19:1.

RevDate: 2018-09-18

Liu Q, Fan D, Adah D, et al (2018)

CRISPR/Cas9‑mediated hypoxia inducible factor‑1α knockout enhances the antitumor effect of transarterial embolization in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Oncology reports [Epub ahead of print].

Transarterial embolization (TAE) is a palliative option commonly used for the treatment of advanced, unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, patient prognosis in regards to overall survival has not improved with this method, mainly due to hypoxia‑inducible factor‑1α (HIF‑1α)‑induced angiogenesis and invasiveness. Thus, it is hypothesized that HIF‑1α may be an ideal knockout target for the treatment of HCC in combination with TAE. Thus, in the present study, HIF‑1α knockout was conducted in human liver cancer SMMC‑7721 cells and a xenograft HCC model was established using a lentivirus‑mediated CRISPR/Cas system (LV‑Cas) with small guide RNA‑721 (LV‑H721). Furthermore, hepatic artery ligation (HAL) was used to mimic human transarterial chemoembolization in mice. The results revealed that HIF‑1α was highly expressed in both HCC patient tissues and SMMC‑7721‑induced tumor tissues. The HIF‑1α knockout in SMMC‑7721 cells significantly suppressed cell invasiveness and migration, and induced cell apoptosis under CoCl2‑mimicking hypoxic conditions. Compared with the control groups, HAL + LV‑H721 inhibited SMMC‑7721 tumor growth in orthotopic HCC and markedly prolonged the survival of HCC‑bearing mice, which was accompanied by a lower CD31 expression (tumor angiogenesis) and increased apoptosis in the tumor cells. These findings demonstrated a valuable antitumor synergism in combining CRISPR/Cas9‑mediated HIF‑1α knockout with TAE in mice and highlighted the possibility that HIF‑1α may be an effective therapeutic knockout target in combination with TAE for HCC treatment.

RevDate: 2018-09-18

Marzec M, G Hensel (2018)

Targeted Base Editing Systems Are Available for Plants.

Trends in plant science pii:S1360-1385(18)30191-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Use of RNA-guided endonucleases for targeted genome editing is one of the most important breakthrough discoveries of the 21st century. Recent studies have described modifications of this precise base editing technique that open up a new dimension to plant genome editing.

RevDate: 2018-09-18
CmpDate: 2018-09-18

Pautasso S, Galitska G, Dell'Oste V, et al (2018)

Strategy of Human Cytomegalovirus To Escape Interferon Beta-Induced APOBEC3G Editing Activity.

Journal of virology, 92(19): pii:JVI.01224-18.

The apolipoprotein B editing enzyme catalytic subunit 3 (APOBEC3) is a family of DNA cytosine deaminases that mutate and inactivate viral genomes by single-strand DNA editing, thus providing an innate immune response against a wide range of DNA and RNA viruses. In particular, APOBEC3A (A3A), a member of the APOBEC3 family, is induced by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in decidual tissues where it efficiently restricts HCMV replication, thereby acting as an intrinsic innate immune effector at the maternal-fetal interface. However, the widespread incidence of congenital HCMV infection implies that HCMV has evolved to counteract APOBEC3-induced mutagenesis through mechanisms that still remain to be fully established. Here, we have assessed gene expression and deaminase activity of various APOBEC3 gene family members in HCMV-infected primary human foreskin fibroblasts (HFFs). Specifically, we show that APOBEC3G (A3G) gene products and, to a lesser degree, those of A3F but not of A3A, are upregulated in HCMV-infected HFFs. We also show that HCMV-mediated induction of A3G expression is mediated by interferon beta (IFN-β), which is produced early during HCMV infection. However, knockout or overexpression of A3G does not affect HCMV replication, indicating that A3G is not a restriction factor for HCMV. Finally, through a bioinformatics approach, we show that HCMV has evolved mutational robustness against IFN-β by limiting the presence of A3G hot spots in essential open reading frames (ORFs) of its genome. Overall, our findings uncover a novel immune evasion strategy by HCMV with profound implications for HCMV infections.IMPORTANCE APOBEC3 family of proteins plays a pivotal role in intrinsic immunity defense mechanisms against multiple viral infections, including retroviruses, through the deamination activity. However, the currently available data on APOBEC3 editing mechanisms upon HCMV infection remain unclear. In the present study, we show that particularly the APOBEC3G (A3G) member of the deaminase family is strongly induced upon infection with HCMV in fibroblasts and that its upregulation is mediated by IFN-β. Furthermore, we were able to demonstrate that neither A3G knockout nor A3G overexpression appears to modulate HCMV replication, indicating that A3G does not inhibit HCMV replication. This may be explained by HCMV escape strategy from A3G activity through depletion of the preferred nucleotide motifs (hot spots) from its genome. The results may shed light on antiviral potential of APOBEC3 activity during HCMV infection, as well as the viral counteracting mechanisms under A3G-mediated selective pressure.

RevDate: 2018-09-18
CmpDate: 2018-09-18

Shao J, Wang M, Yu G, et al (2018)

Synthetic far-red light-mediated CRISPR-dCas9 device for inducing functional neuronal differentiation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(29):E6722-E6730.

The ability to control the activity of CRISPR-dCas9 with precise spatiotemporal resolution will enable tight genome regulation of user-defined endogenous genes for studying the dynamics of transcriptional regulation. Optogenetic devices with minimal phototoxicity and the capacity for deep tissue penetration are extremely useful for precise spatiotemporal control of cellular behavior and for future clinic translational research. Therefore, capitalizing on synthetic biology and optogenetic design principles, we engineered a far-red light (FRL)-activated CRISPR-dCas9 effector (FACE) device that induces transcription of exogenous or endogenous genes in the presence of FRL stimulation. This versatile system provides a robust and convenient method for precise spatiotemporal control of endogenous gene expression and also has been demonstrated to mediate targeted epigenetic modulation, which can be utilized to efficiently promote differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into functional neurons by up-regulating a single neural transcription factor, NEUROG2 This FACE system might facilitate genetic/epigenetic reprogramming in basic biological research and regenerative medicine for future biomedical applications.

RevDate: 2018-09-18
CmpDate: 2018-09-18

Yajima M, Ikuta K, T Kanda (2018)

Rapid CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Cloning of Full-Length Epstein-Barr Virus Genomes from Latently Infected Cells.

Viruses, 10(4): pii:v10040171.

Herpesviruses have relatively large DNA genomes of more than 150 kb that are difficult to clone and sequence. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) cloning of herpesvirus genomes is a powerful technique that greatly facilitates whole viral genome sequencing as well as functional characterization of reconstituted viruses. We describe recently invented technologies for rapid BAC cloning of herpesvirus genomes using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homology-directed repair. We focus on recent BAC cloning techniques of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomes and discuss the possible advantages of a CRISPR/Cas9-mediated strategy comparatively with precedent EBV-BAC cloning strategies. We also describe the design decisions of this technology as well as possible pitfalls and points to be improved in the future. The obtained EBV-BAC clones are subjected to long-read sequencing analysis to determine complete EBV genome sequence including repetitive regions. Rapid cloning and sequence determination of various EBV strains will greatly contribute to the understanding of their global geographical distribution. This technology can also be used to clone disease-associated EBV strains and test the hypothesis that they have special features that distinguish them from strains that infect asymptomatically.

RevDate: 2018-09-18
CmpDate: 2018-09-18

Chang P, Yao Y, Tang N, et al (2018)

The Application of NHEJ-CRISPR/Cas9 and Cre-Lox System in the Generation of Bivalent Duck Enteritis Virus Vaccine against Avian Influenza Virus.

Viruses, 10(2): pii:v10020081.

Duck-targeted vaccines to protect against avian influenza are critically needed to aid in influenza disease control efforts in regions where ducks are endemic for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Duck enteritis virus (DEV) is a promising candidate viral vector for development of vaccines targeting ducks, owing to its large genome and narrow host range. The clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system is a versatile gene-editing tool that has proven beneficial for gene modification and construction of recombinant DNA viral vectored vaccines. Currently, there are two commonly used methods for gene insertion: non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homology-directed repair (HDR). Owing to its advantages in efficiency and independence from molecular requirements of the homologous arms, we utilized NHEJ-dependent CRISPR/Cas9 to insert the influenza hemagglutinin (HA) antigen expression cassette into the DEV genome. The insert was initially tagged with reporter green fluorescence protein (GFP), and a Cre-Lox system was later used to remove the GFP gene insert. Furthermore, a universal donor plasmid system was established by introducing double bait sequences that were independent of the viral genome. In summary, we provide proof of principle for generating recombinant DEV viral vectored vaccines against the influenza virus using an integrated NHEJ-CRISPR/Cas9 and Cre-Lox system.

RevDate: 2018-09-18
CmpDate: 2018-09-18

Kawabe Y, Komatsu S, Komatsu S, et al (2018)

Targeted knock-in of an scFv-Fc antibody gene into the hprt locus of Chinese hamster ovary cells using CRISPR/Cas9 and CRIS-PITCh systems.

Journal of bioscience and bioengineering, 125(5):599-605.

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells have been used as host cells for the production of pharmaceutical proteins. For the high and stable production of target proteins, the transgene should be integrated into a suitable genomic locus of host cells. Here, we generated knock-in CHO cells, in which transgene cassettes without a vector backbone sequence were integrated into the hprt locus of the CHO genome using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 and CRISPR-mediated precise integration into target chromosome (CRIS-PITCh) systems. We investigated the efficiency of targeted knock-in of transgenes using these systems. As a practical example, we generated knock-in CHO cells producing an scFv-Fc antibody using the CRIS-PITCh system mediated by microhomology sequences for targeting. We found that the CRIS-PITCh system can facilitate targeted knock-in for CHO cell engineering.

RevDate: 2018-09-18
CmpDate: 2018-09-18

Tang N, Zhang Y, Pedrera M, et al (2018)

A simple and rapid approach to develop recombinant avian herpesvirus vectored vaccines using CRISPR/Cas9 system.

Vaccine, 36(5):716-722.

Herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) has been successfully used as live vaccine against Marek's disease (MD) worldwide for more than 40 years either alone or in combination with other serotypes. HVT is also widely used as a vector platform for generation of recombinant vaccines against a number of avian diseases such as infectious bursal disease (IBD), Newcastle disease (ND) and avian influenza (AI) using conventional recombination methods or recombineering tools on cloned viral genomes. In the present study, we describe the application of CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing as a rapid and efficient method of generating HVT recombinants expressing VP2 protein of IBDV. This approach offers an efficient method to introduce other viral antigens into the HVT genome for rapid development of recombinant vaccines.

RevDate: 2018-09-18
CmpDate: 2018-09-18

Sun N, Yu X, Li F, et al (2017)

Inference of differentiation time for single cell transcriptomes using cell population reference data.

Nature communications, 8(1):1856 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01860-2.

Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) is a powerful method for dissecting intercellular heterogeneity during development. Conventional trajectory analysis provides only a pseudotime of development, and often discards cell-cycle events as confounding factors. Here using matched cell population RNA-seq (cpRNA-seq) as a reference, we developed an "iCpSc" package for integrative analysis of cpRNA-seq and scRNA-seq data. By generating a computational model for reference "biological differentiation time" using cell population data and applying it to single-cell data, we unbiasedly associated cell-cycle checkpoints to the internal molecular timer of single cells. Through inferring a network flow from cpRNA-seq to scRNA-seq data, we predicted a role of M phase in controlling the speed of neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells, and validated it through gene knockout (KO) experiments. By linking temporally matched cpRNA-seq and scRNA-seq data, our approach provides an effective and unbiased approach for identifying developmental trajectory and timing-related regulatory events.

RevDate: 2018-09-18
CmpDate: 2018-09-18

Ludman M, Burgyán J, K Fátyol (2017)

Crispr/Cas9 Mediated Inactivation of Argonaute 2 Reveals its Differential Involvement in Antiviral Responses.

Scientific reports, 7(1):1010 pii:10.1038/s41598-017-01050-6.

RNA silencing constitutes an important antiviral mechanism in plants. Small RNA guided Argonaute proteins fulfill essential role in this process by acting as executors of viral restriction. Plants encode multiple Argonaute proteins of which several exhibit antiviral activities. A recent addition to this group is AGO2. Its involvement in antiviral responses is established predominantly by studies employing mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana. In the virological model plant, Nicotiana benthamiana, the contribution of AGO2 to antiviral immunity is much less certain due to the lack of appropriate genetic mutants. Previous studies employed various RNAi based tools to down-regulate AGO2 expression. However, these techniques have several disadvantages, especially in the context of antiviral RNA silencing. Here, we have utilized the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to inactivate the AGO2 gene of N. benthamiana. The ago2 plants exhibit differential sensitivities towards various viruses. AGO2 is a critical component of the plants' immune responses against PVX, TuMV and TCV. In contrast, AGO2 deficiency does not significantly influence the progression of tombusvirus and CMV infections. In summary, our work provides unequivocal proof for the virus-specific antiviral role of AGO2 in a plant species other than A. thaliana for the first time.

RevDate: 2018-09-17

Dorn A, Röhrig S, Papp K, et al (2018)

The topoisomerase 3α zinc-finger domain T1 of Arabidopsis thaliana is required for targeting the enzyme activity to Holliday junction-like DNA repair intermediates.

PLoS genetics, 14(9):e1007674 pii:PGENETICS-D-18-01350 [Epub ahead of print].

Topoisomerase 3α, a class I topoisomerase, consists of a TOPRIM domain, an active centre and a variable number of zinc-finger domains (ZFDs) at the C-terminus, in multicellular organisms. Whereas the functions of the TOPRIM domain and the active centre are known, the specific role of the ZFDs is still obscure. In contrast to mammals where a knockout of TOP3α leads to lethality, we found that CRISPR/Cas induced mutants in Arabidopsis are viable but show growth retardation and meiotic defects, which can be reversed by the expression of the complete protein. However, complementation with AtTOP3α missing either the TOPRIM-domain or carrying a mutation of the catalytic tyrosine of the active centre leads to embryo lethality. Surprisingly, this phenotype can be overcome by the simultaneous removal of the ZFDs from the protein. In combination with a mutation of the nuclease AtMUS81, the TOP3α knockout proved to be also embryo lethal. Here, expression of TOP3α without ZFDs, and in particular without the conserved ZFD T1, leads to only a partly complementation in root growth-in contrast to the complete protein, that restores root length to mus81-1 mutant level. Expressing the E. coli resolvase RusA in this background, which is able to process Holliday junction (HJ)-like recombination intermediates, we could rescue this root growth defect. Considering all these results, we conclude that the ZFD T1 is specifically required for targeting the topoisomerase activity to HJ like recombination intermediates to enable their processing. In the case of an inactivated enzyme, this leads to cell death due to the masking of these intermediates, hindering their resolution by MUS81.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Verruto J, Francis K, Wang Y, et al (2018)

Unrestrained markerless trait stacking in Nannochloropsis gaditana through combined genome editing and marker recycling technologies.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(30):E7015-E7022.

Robust molecular tool kits in model and industrial microalgae are key to efficient targeted manipulation of endogenous and foreign genes in the nuclear genome for basic research and, as importantly, for the development of algal strains to produce renewable products such as biofuels. While Cas9-mediated gene knockout has been demonstrated in a small number of algal species with varying efficiency, the ability to stack traits or generate knockout mutations in two or more loci are often severely limited by selectable agent availability. This poses a critical hurdle in developing production strains, which require stacking of multiple traits, or in probing functionally redundant gene families. Here, we combine Cas9 genome editing with an inducible Cre recombinase in the industrial alga Nannochloropsis gaditana to generate a strain, NgCas9+Cre+, in which the potentially unlimited stacking of knockouts and addition of new genes is readily achievable. Cre-mediated marker recycling is first demonstrated in the removal of the selectable marker and GFP reporter transgenes associated with the Cas9/Cre construct in NgCas9+Cre+ Next, we show the proof-of-concept generation of a markerless knockout in a gene encoding an acyl-CoA oxidase (Aco1), as well as the markerless recapitulation of a 2-kb insert in the ZnCys gene 5'-UTR, which results in a doubling of wild-type lipid productivity. Finally, through an industrially oriented process, we generate mutants that exhibit up to ∼50% reduction in photosynthetic antennae size by markerless knockout of seven genes in the large light-harvesting complex gene family.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Borth N, WS Hu (2018)

Enhancing CHO by Systems Biotechnology.

Biotechnology journal, 13(3):e1800077.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Cai M, Si Y, Zhang J, et al (2018)

Zebrafish Embryonic Slow Muscle Is a Rapid System for Genetic Analysis of Sarcomere Organization by CRISPR/Cas9, but Not NgAgo.

Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.), 20(2):168-181.

Zebrafish embryonic slow muscle cells, with their superficial localization and clear sarcomere organization, provide a useful model system for genetic analysis of muscle cell differentiation and sarcomere assembly. To develop a quick assay for testing CRISPR-mediated gene editing in slow muscles of zebrafish embryos, we targeted a red fluorescence protein (RFP) reporter gene specifically expressed in slow muscles of myomesin-3-RFP (Myom3-RFP) zebrafish embryos. We demonstrated that microinjection of RFP-sgRNA with Cas9 protein or Cas9 mRNA resulted in a mosaic pattern in loss of RFP expression in slow muscle fibers of the injected zebrafish embryos. To uncover gene functions in sarcomere organization, we targeted two endogenous genes, slow myosin heavy chain-1 (smyhc1) and heat shock protein 90 α1 (hsp90α1), which are specifically expressed in zebrafish muscle cells. We demonstrated that injection of Cas9 protein or mRNA with respective sgRNAs targeted to smyhc1 or hsp90a1 resulted in a mosaic pattern of myosin thick filament disruption in slow myofibers of the injected zebrafish embryos. Moreover, Myom3-RFP expression and M-line localization were also abolished in these defective myofibers. Given that zebrafish embryonic slow muscles are a rapid in vivo system for testing genome editing and uncovering gene functions in muscle cell differentiation, we investigated whether microinjection of Natronobacterium gregoryi Argonaute (NgAgo) system could induce genetic mutations and muscle defects in zebrafish embryos. Single-strand guide DNAs targeted to RFP, Smyhc1, or Hsp90α1 were injected with NgAgo mRNA into Myom3-RFP zebrafish embryos. Myom3-RFP expression was analyzed in the injected embryos. The results showed that, in contrast to the CRISPR/Cas9 system, injection of the NgAgo-gDNA system did not affect Myom3-RFP expression and sarcomere organization in myofibers of the injected embryos. Sequence analysis failed to detect genetic mutations at the target genes. Together, our studies demonstrate that zebrafish embryonic slow muscle is a rapid model for testing gene editing technologies in vivo and uncovering gene functions in muscle cell differentiation.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Ray M, Lee YW, Hardie J, et al (2018)

CRISPRed Macrophages for Cell-Based Cancer Immunotherapy.

Bioconjugate chemistry, 29(2):445-450.

We present here an integrated nanotechnology/biology strategy for cancer immunotherapy that uses arginine nanoparticles (ArgNPs) to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing machinery into cells to generate SIRP-α knockout macrophages. The NP system efficiently codelivers single guide RNA (sgRNA) and Cas9 protein required for editing to knock out the "don't eat me signal" in macrophages that prevents phagocytosis of cancer cells. Turning off this signal increased the innate phagocytic capabilities of the macrophages by 4-fold. This improved attack and elimination of cancer cells makes this strategy promising for the creation of "weaponized" macrophages for cancer immunotherapy.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Shibata M, Nishimasu H, Kodera N, et al (2017)

Real-space and real-time dynamics of CRISPR-Cas9 visualized by high-speed atomic force microscopy.

Nature communications, 8(1):1430 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01466-8.

The CRISPR-associated endonuclease Cas9 binds to a guide RNA and cleaves double-stranded DNA with a sequence complementary to the RNA guide. The Cas9-RNA system has been harnessed for numerous applications, such as genome editing. Here we use high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) to visualize the real-space and real-time dynamics of CRISPR-Cas9 in action. HS-AFM movies indicate that, whereas apo-Cas9 adopts unexpected flexible conformations, Cas9-RNA forms a stable bilobed structure and interrogates target sites on the DNA by three-dimensional diffusion. These movies also provide real-time visualization of the Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage process. Notably, the Cas9 HNH nuclease domain fluctuates upon DNA binding, and subsequently adopts an active conformation, where the HNH active site is docked at the cleavage site in the target DNA. Collectively, our HS-AFM data extend our understanding of the action mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Harrington LB, Paez-Espino D, Staahl BT, et al (2017)

A thermostable Cas9 with increased lifetime in human plasma.

Nature communications, 8(1):1424 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01408-4.

CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful technology that has enabled genome editing in a wide range of species. However, the currently developed Cas9 homologs all originate from mesophilic bacteria, making them susceptible to degradation and unsuitable for applications requiring cleavage at elevated temperatures. Here, we show that the Cas9 protein from the thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus stearothermophilus (GeoCas9) catalyzes RNA-guided DNA cleavage at elevated temperatures. GeoCas9 is active at temperatures up to 70 °C, compared to 45 °C for Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpyCas9), which expands the temperature range for CRISPR-Cas9 applications. We also found that GeoCas9 is an effective tool for editing mammalian genomes when delivered as a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex. Together with an increased lifetime in human plasma, the thermostable GeoCas9 provides the foundation for improved RNP delivery in vivo and expands the temperature range of CRISPR-Cas9.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Aparicio T, de Lorenzo V, E Martínez-García (2018)

CRISPR/Cas9-Based Counterselection Boosts Recombineering Efficiency in Pseudomonas putida.

Biotechnology journal, 13(5):e1700161.

While adoption of single-stranded DNA recombineering techniques has greatly eased genetic design of the platform strain Pseudomonas putida KT2440, available methods still produce the desired modifications/deletions at low frequencies. This makes isolation of mutants that do not display selectable or conspicuous phenotypes considerably difficult. To overcome this limitation, the authors have merged ssDNA recombineering with CRISPR/Cas9 technology in this bacterium for efficient killing of unmodified cells and thus non-phenotypic selection of bacteria bearing the mutations of interest. After incorporating the system into standardized pSEVA plasmids the authors tested its functional efficiency by targeting different types of changes that ranged from single nucleotide substitutions to one-gene deletions-to even the removal of the large flagellar cluster (≈69 kb). Simultaneous introduction of two independent gene deletions was tested as well. In all cases, directing the crRNA/Cas9 complexes toward non-modified, wild-type genomic sequences boosted dramatically the appearance of the mutants at stake in the absence of any phenotypic selection. The results presented here upgrade the engineering possibilities of the genome of this environmental bacterium (and possibly other Gram-negatives) to obtain modifications that are otherwise cumbersome to generate.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Gruber K (2017)

Genetic basis for response to cancer immunotherapy.

The Lancet. Oncology, 18(9):e521.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Courtier-Orgogozo V, Morizot B, C Boëte (2017)

Agricultural pest control with CRISPR-based gene drive: time for public debate: Should we use gene drive for pest control?.

EMBO reports, 18(6):878-880.

RevDate: 2018-09-17
CmpDate: 2018-09-17

Jiao R, C Gao (2016)

The CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Revolution.

Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao, 43(5):227-228.

RevDate: 2018-09-14
CmpDate: 2018-09-14

Karagyaur MN, Rubtsov YP, Vasiliev PA, et al (2018)

Practical Recommendations for Improving Efficiency and Accuracy of the CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing System.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 83(6):629-642.

CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing system is a powerful, fairly accurate, and efficient tool for modifying genomic DNA. Despite obvious advantages, it is not devoid of certain drawbacks, such as propensity for introduction of additional nonspecific DNA breaks, insufficient activity against aneuploid genomes, and relative difficulty in delivering its components to cells. In this review, we focus on the difficulties that can limit the use of CRISPR/Cas9 and suggest a number of practical recommendations and information sources that will make it easier for the beginners to work with this outstanding technological achievement of the XXI century.

RevDate: 2018-09-14
CmpDate: 2018-09-14

Ooga M, Funaya S, Hashioka Y, et al (2018)

Chd9 mediates highly loosened chromatin structure in growing mouse oocytes.

Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 500(3):583-588.

During oogenesis, oocytes prepare for embryonic development following fertilization. The mechanisms underlying this process are still unknown. Recently, it has been suggested that a loosened chromatin structure is involved in pluripotency and totipotency in embryonic stem (ES) cells and early preimplantation embryos, respectively. Here, we explored chromatin looseness in oocytes by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) using enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged histone H2B. The results indicated that the chromatin in growing oocytes was already highly loosened to a level comparable to that in early preimplantation embryos. To elucidate the mechanism underlying the loosened chromatin structure in oocytes, we focused on chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 9 (Chd9), which is highly expressed in growing oocytes. The oocytes from Chd9 knockout mice (Chd9-/-) generated using the CRISPR/Cas9 system exhibited a less loosened chromatin structure than that of wild-type mice, suggesting that Chd9 is involved in the loosened chromatin structure in growing oocytes. These results suggest that a loosened chromatin structure, which is mediated by Chd9, is a prerequisite for the acquisition of totipotency after fertilization.

RevDate: 2018-09-14
CmpDate: 2018-09-14

Kodama M, Yoshida M, Endo M, et al (2018)

Nanos3 of the frog Rana rugosa: Molecular cloning and characterization.

Development, growth & differentiation, 60(2):112-120.

Nanos is expressed in the primordial germ cells (PGCs) and also the germ cells of a variety of organisms as diverse as Drosophila, medaka fish, Xenopus and mouse. In Nanos3-deficient mice, PGCs fail to incorporate into the gonad and the size of the testis and ovary is thereby dramatically reduced. To elucidate the role of Nanos in an amphibian species, we cloned Nanos3 cDNA from the testis of the R. rugosa frog. RT-PCR analysis showed strong expression of Nanos3 mRNA in the testis of adult R. rugosa frogs, but expression was not sexually dimorphic during gonadal differentiation. In Nanos3-knockdown tadpoles produced by the CRISPR/Cas9 system, the number of germ cells decreased dramatically in the gonads of both male and female tadpoles before sex determination and thereafter. This was confirmed by three dimensional imaging of wild-type and Nanos3 knockdown gonads using serial sections immunostained for Vasa, a marker specific to germ cells. Taken together, these results suggest that Nanos3 protein function is conserved between R. rugosa and mouse.

RevDate: 2018-09-14
CmpDate: 2018-09-14

Xu XS, Gantz VM, Siomava N, et al (2017)

CRISPR/Cas9 and active genetics-based trans-species replacement of the endogenous Drosophila kni-L2 CRM reveals unexpected complexity.

eLife, 6: pii:30281.

The knirps (kni) locus encodes transcription factors required for induction of the L2 wing vein in Drosophila. Here, we employ diverse CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tools to generate a series of targeted lesions within the endogenous cis-regulatory module (CRM) required for kni expression in the L2 vein primordium. Phenotypic analysis of these 'in locus' mutations based on both expression of Kni protein and adult wing phenotypes, reveals novel unexpected features of L2-CRM function including evidence for a chromosome pairing-dependent process that promotes transcription. We also demonstrate that self-propagating active genetic elements (CopyCat elements) can efficiently delete and replace the L2-CRM with orthologous sequences from other divergent fly species. Wing vein phenotypes resulting from these trans-species enhancer replacements parallel features of the respective donor fly species. This highly sensitive phenotypic readout of enhancer function in a native genomic context reveals novel features of CRM function undetected by traditional reporter gene analysis.

RevDate: 2018-09-14
CmpDate: 2018-09-14

Carrasquilla M, CK Owusu (2016)

A CRISPR outlook for apicomplexans.

Nature reviews. Microbiology, 14(11):668.

RevDate: 2018-09-14
CmpDate: 2018-09-14

Waldron D (2016)

Genetic engineering: Allele-specific genome editing of disease loci.

Nature reviews. Genetics, 17(11):660.

RevDate: 2018-09-14
CmpDate: 2018-09-14

Burgess DJ (2016)

Technique: Genome editing for cell lineage tracing.

Nature reviews. Genetics, 17(8):435.

RevDate: 2018-09-13

Akcakaya P, Bobbin ML, Guo JA, et al (2018)

In vivo CRISPR editing with no detectable genome-wide off-target mutations.

Nature pii:10.1038/s41586-018-0500-9 [Epub ahead of print].

CRISPR-Cas genome-editing nucleases hold substantial promise for developing human therapeutic applications1-6 but identifying unwanted off-target mutations is important for clinical translation7. A well-validated method that can reliably identify off-targets in vivo has not been described to date, which means it is currently unclear whether and how frequently these mutations occur. Here we describe 'verification of in vivo off-targets' (VIVO), a highly sensitive strategy that can robustly identify the genome-wide off-target effects of CRISPR-Cas nucleases in vivo. We use VIVO and a guide RNA deliberately designed to be promiscuous to show that CRISPR-Cas nucleases can induce substantial off-target mutations in mouse livers in vivo. More importantly, we also use VIVO to show that appropriately designed guide RNAs can direct efficient in vivo editing in mouse livers with no detectable off-target mutations. VIVO provides a general strategy for defining and quantifying the off-target effects of gene-editing nucleases in whole organisms, thereby providing a blueprint to foster the development of therapeutic strategies that use in vivo gene editing.

RevDate: 2018-09-13

Cubbon A, Ivancic-Bace I, EL Bolt (2018)

CRISPR-Cas Immunity, DNA repair and Genome Stability.

Bioscience reports pii:BSR20180457 [Epub ahead of print].

Co-opting of CRISPR-Cas "Interference" reactions for editing the genomes of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells has highlighted crucial support roles for DNA repair systems that strive to maintain genome stability. As front-runners in genome editing that targets DNA, the class 2 CRISPR-Cas enzymes Cas9 and Cas12a rely on repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DDSBs) by host DNA repair enzymes, using mechanisms that vary in how well they are understood. Data is emerging about the identities of DNA repair enzymes that support genome editing in human cells. At the same time, it is becoming apparent that CRISPR-Cas systems functioning in their native environment, bacteria or archaea, also need DNA repair enzymes. In this short review we survey how DNA repair and CRISPR-Cas systems are inter-twined. We consider how understanding DNA repair and CRISPR-Cas interference reactions in nature might help improve the efficacy of genome editing procedures that utilize homologous or analogous systems in human and other cells.

RevDate: 2018-09-13
CmpDate: 2018-09-13

Kupferschmidt K (2018)

EU verdict on CRISPR crops dismays scientists.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 361(6401):435-436.

RevDate: 2018-09-13
CmpDate: 2018-09-13

Wei Y, Chen Y, Qiu Y, et al (2016)

Prevention of Muscle Wasting by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Disruption of Myostatin In Vivo.

Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy, 24(11):1889-1891.

RevDate: 2018-09-13
CmpDate: 2018-09-13

Tremblay JP, Iyombe-Engembe JP, Duchêne B, et al (2016)

Gene Editing for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Using the CRISPR/Cas9 Technology: The Importance of Fine-tuning the Approach.

Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy, 24(11):1888-1889.

RevDate: 2018-09-12

Stanley SY, KL Maxwell (2018)

Phage-Encoded Anti-CRISPR Defenses.

Annual review of genetics [Epub ahead of print].

The battle for survival between bacteria and bacteriophages (phages) is an arms race where bacteria develop defenses to protect themselves from phages and phages evolve counterstrategies to bypass these defenses. CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems represent a widespread mechanism by which bacteria protect themselves from phage infection. In response to CRISPR-Cas, phages have evolved protein inhibitors known as anti-CRISPRs. Here, we describe the discovery and mechanisms of action of anti-CRISPR proteins. We discuss the potential impact of anti-CRISPRs on bacterial evolution, speculate on their evolutionary origins, and contemplate the possible next steps in the CRISPR-Cas evolutionary arms race. We also touch on the impact of anti-CRISPRs on the development of CRISPR-Cas-based biotechnological tools. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Genetics Volume 52 is November 23, 2018. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2018-09-12

Hidalgo-Cantabrana C, Sanozky-Dawes R, R Barrangou (2018)

Insights into the Human Virome Using CRISPR Spacers from Microbiomes.

Viruses, 10(9): pii:v10090479.

Due to recent advances in next-generation sequencing over the past decade, our understanding of the human microbiome and its relationship to health and disease has increased dramatically. Yet, our insights into the human virome, and its interplay with important microbes that impact human health, is relatively limited. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic viruses are present throughout the human body, comprising a large and diverse population which influences several niches and impacts our health at various body sites. The presence of prokaryotic viruses like phages, has been documented at many different body sites, with the human gut being the richest ecological niche. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) and associated proteins constitute the adaptive immune system of bacteria, which prevents attack by invasive nucleic acid. CRISPR-Cas systems function by uptake and integration of foreign genetic element sequences into the CRISPR array, which constitutes a genomic archive of iterative vaccination events. Consequently, CRISPR spacers can be investigated to reconstruct interplay between viruses and bacteria, and metagenomic sequencing data can be exploited to provide insights into host-phage interactions within a niche. Here, we show how the CRISPR spacer content of commensal and pathogenic bacteria can be used to determine the evidence of their phage exposure. This framework opens new opportunities for investigating host-virus dynamics in metagenomic data, and highlights the need to dedicate more efforts for virome sampling and sequencing.

RevDate: 2018-09-12
CmpDate: 2018-09-12

Zhang Y, Sastre D, F Wang (2018)

CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing: A Promising Tool for Therapeutic Applications of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

Current stem cell research & therapy, 13(4):243-251.

BACKGROUND: Induced pluripotent stem cells hold tremendous potential for biological and therapeutic applications. The development of efficient technologies for targeted genome alteration of stem cells in disease models is a prerequisite for utilizing stem cells to their full potential. The revolutionary technology for genome editing known as the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system is recently recognized as a powerful tool for editing DNA at specific loci.

OBJECTIVE: The ease of use of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology will allow us to improve our understanding of genomic variation in disease processes via cellular and animal models. More recently, this system was modified to repress (CRISPR interference, CRISPRi) or activate (CRISPR activation, CRISPRa) gene expression without alterations in the DNA, which amplified the scope of applications of CRISPR systems for stem cell biology.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Here, we highlight latest advances of CRISPR-associated applications in human pluripotent stem cells. The challenges and future prospects of CRISPR-based systems for human research are also discussed.

RevDate: 2018-09-12
CmpDate: 2018-09-12

Ali Z, Eid A, Ali S, et al (2018)

Pea early-browning virus-mediated genome editing via the CRISPR/Cas9 system in Nicotiana benthamiana and Arabidopsis.

Virus research, 244:333-337.

The clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas9) system has enabled efficient genome engineering in diverse plant species. However, delivery of genome engineering reagents, such as the single guide RNA (sgRNA), into plant cells remains challenging. Here, we report the engineering of Tobacco rattle virus (TRV) and Pea early browning virus (PEBV) to deliver one or multiple sgRNAs into Nicotiana benthamiana and Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0) plants that overexpress a nuclear localization signal containing Cas9. Our data showed that TRV and PEBV can deliver sgRNAs into inoculated and systemic leaves, and this resulted in mutagenesis of the targeted genomic loci. Moreover, in N. benthamiana, PEBV-based sgRNA delivery resulted in more targeted mutations than TRV-based delivery. Our data indicate that TRV and PEBV can facilitate plant genome engineering and can be used to produce targeted mutations for functional analysis and other biotechnological applications across diverse plant species. Key message: Delivery of genome engineering reagents into plant cells is challenging and inefficient and this limit the applications of this technology in many plant species. RNA viruses such as TRV and PEBV provide an efficient tool to systemically deliver sgRNAs for targeted genome modification.

RevDate: 2018-09-12
CmpDate: 2018-09-12

Yuen KS, Wang ZM, Wong NM, et al (2018)

Suppression of Epstein-Barr virus DNA load in latently infected nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells by CRISPR/Cas9.

Virus research, 244:296-303.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects more than 90% of the world's adult population. Once established, latent infection of nasopharyngeal epithelial cells with EBV is difficult to eradicate and might lead to the development of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in a small subset of individuals. In this study we explored the anti-EBV potential of CRISPR/Cas9 targeting of EBV genome in infected NPC cells. We designed gRNAs to target different regions of the EBV genome and transfected them into C666-1 cells. The levels of EBV DNA in transfected cells were decreased by about 50%. The suppressive effect on EBV DNA load lasted for weeks but could not be further enhanced by re-transfection of gRNA. Suppression of EBV by CRISPR/Cas9 did not affect survival of C666-1 cells but sensitized them to chemotherapeutic killing by cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil. Our work provides the proof-of-principle for suppressing EBV DNA load with CRISPR/Cas9 and a potential new strategy to sensitize EBV-infected NPC cells to chemotherapy.

RevDate: 2018-09-12
CmpDate: 2018-09-12

Li Z, Bi Y, Xiao H, et al (2018)

CRISPR-Cas9 system-driven site-specific selection pressure on Herpes simplex virus genomes.

Virus research, 244:286-295.

The CRISPR-Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated protein 9) system has been widely used for viral genome editing, transcription regulation and chromosomal localization in eukaryotic cells. In this study, a guide RNA (gRNA) that specifically recognizes HSV-1 viral genomes was used in the CRISPR-Cas9 system to inhibit viral replication. This inhibition could be achieved with both wild type Cas9 protein and Cas9 nickase (D10A). By targeting viral genomes containing sequences recognized by the gRNA, the CRISPR-Cas9 system distinguished between different viral genome sequences and provided single nucleotide-specific selection pressure to significantly change the proportions of viruses in a mixed viral pool. This finding indicates the utility of this tool for virus selection without the need for antibiotics or reporter genes, which could potentially save time compared to other methods used for screening and purifying mutant viruses.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Yarrington RM, Verma S, Schwartz S, et al (2018)

Nucleosomes inhibit target cleavage by CRISPR-Cas9 in vivo.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1810062115 [Epub ahead of print].

Genome editing with CRISPR-Cas nucleases has been applied successfully to a wide range of cells and organisms. There is, however, considerable variation in the efficiency of cleavage and outcomes at different genomic targets, even within the same cell type. Some of this variability is likely due to the inherent quality of the interaction between the guide RNA and the target sequence, but some may also reflect the relative accessibility of the target. We investigated the influence of chromatin structure, particularly the presence or absence of nucleosomes, on cleavage by the Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 protein. At multiple target sequences in two promoters in the yeast genome, we find that Cas9 cleavage is strongly inhibited when the DNA target is within a nucleosome. This inhibition is relieved when nucleosomes are depleted. Remarkably, the same is not true of zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), which cleave equally well at nucleosome-occupied and nucleosome-depleted sites. These results have implications for the choice of specific targets for genome editing, both in research and in clinical and other practical applications.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Zhang J, Song F, Sun Y, et al (2018)

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of EcMIH shortens metamorphosis time from mysis larva to postlarva of Exopalaemon carinicauda.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 77:244-251.

The recently emerged CRISPR/Cas9 technology is the most flexible means to produce targeted mutations at the genomic loci in a variety of organisms. In Crustaceans, molt-inhibiting hormone (MIH) is an important negative-regulatory factor and plays a key role in suppressing the molting process. However, whether precise disruption of MIH in crustacean can be achieved and successfully used to improve the development and growth has not been proved. In this research, the complementary DNA (cDNA) and genomic DNA, including flanking regions of the MIH gene (EcMIH) of ridgetail white prawn Exopalaemon carinicauda, were cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis revealed that EcMIH was composed of three exons and two introns. Analysis by RT-PCR showed that EcMIH mainly expressed in eyestalks. During different development periods, EcMIH was highest in juvenile stage and extremely low in others but adult prawns eyestalks. In addition, we applied CRISPR/Cas9 technology to generate EcMIH knock-out (KO) prawns and then analyzed the changes in their phenotypes. We efficiently generated 12 EcMIH-KO prawns out of 250 injected one-cell stage embryos and the mutant rate reached 4.8% after embryo injection with one sgRNA targeting the second exon of EcMIH. The EcMIH-KO prawns exhibited increased the body length and shortened the metamorphosis time of larvae from mysis larva to postlarva. Meanwhile, EcMIH-KO did not cause the health problems such as early stage death or deformity. In conclusion, we successfully obtained EcMIH gene and generated EcMIH-KO prawns using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. This study will certainly lead to a wide application prospect of MIH gene in prawns breeding.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Klaassen H, Wang Y, Adamski K, et al (2018)

CRISPR mutagenesis confirms the role of oca2 in melanin pigmentation in Astyanax mexicanus.

Developmental biology, 441(2):313-318.

Understanding the genetic basis of trait evolution is critical to identifying the mechanisms that generated the immense amount of diversity observable in the living world. However, genetically manipulating organisms from natural populations with evolutionary adaptations remains a significant challenge. Astyanax mexicanus exists in two interfertile forms, a surface-dwelling form and multiple independently evolved cave-dwelling forms. Cavefish have evolved a number of morphological and behavioral traits and multiple quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses have been performed to identify loci underlying these traits. These studies provide a unique opportunity to identify and test candidate genes for these cave-specific traits. We have leveraged the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing techniques to characterize the effects of mutations in oculocutaneous albinism II (oca2), a candidate gene hypothesized to be responsible for the evolution of albinism in A. mexicanus cave populations. We generated oca2 mutant surface A. mexicanus. Surface fish with oca2 mutations are albino due to a disruption in the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway, the same step that is disrupted in albino cavefish. Hybrid offspring from crosses between oca2 mutant surface and cavefish are albino, definitively demonstrating the role of this gene in the evolution of albinism in this species. This research elucidates the role oca2 plays in pigmentation in fish, and establishes that this gene is solely responsible for the evolution of albinism in multiple cavefish populations. Finally, it demonstrates the utility of using genome editing to investigate the genetic basis of trait evolution.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Hoeksema F, Karpilow J, Luitjens A, et al (2018)

Enhancing viral vaccine production using engineered knockout vero cell lines - A second look.

Vaccine, 36(16):2093-2103.

The global adoption of vaccines to combat disease is hampered by the high cost of vaccine manufacturing. The work described herein follows two previous publications (van der Sanden et al., 2016; Wu et al., 2017) that report a strategy to enhance poliovirus and rotavirus vaccine production through genetic modification of the Vero cell lines used in large-scale vaccine manufacturing. CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tools were used to knockout Vero target genes previously shown to play a role in polio- and rotavirus production. Subsequently, small-scale models of current industry manufacturing systems were developed and adopted to assess the increases in polio- and rotavirus output by multiple stable knockout cell lines. Unlike previous studies, the Vero knockout cell lines failed to achieve desired target yield increases. These findings suggest that additional research will be required before implementing the genetically engineered Vero cell lines in the manufacturing process for polio- and rotavirus vaccines to be able to supply vaccines at reduced prices.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Yablonovitch AL, Fu J, Li K, et al (2017)

Regulation of gene expression and RNA editing in Drosophila adapting to divergent microclimates.

Nature communications, 8(1):1570 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01658-2.

Determining the mechanisms by which a species adapts to its environment is a key endeavor in the study of evolution. In particular, relatively little is known about how transcriptional processes are fine-tuned to adjust to different environmental conditions. Here we study Drosophila melanogaster from 'Evolution Canyon' in Israel, which consists of two opposing slopes with divergent microclimates. We identify several hundred differentially expressed genes and dozens of differentially edited sites between flies from each slope, correlate these changes with genetic differences, and use CRISPR mutagenesis to validate that an intronic SNP in prominin regulates its editing levels. We also demonstrate that while temperature affects editing levels at more sites than genetic differences, genetically regulated sites tend to be less affected by temperature. This work shows the extent to which gene expression and RNA editing differ between flies from different microclimates, and provides insights into the regulation responsible for these differences.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Saunderson EA, Stepper P, Gomm JJ, et al (2017)

Hit-and-run epigenetic editing prevents senescence entry in primary breast cells from healthy donors.

Nature communications, 8(1):1450 pii:10.1038/s41467-017-01078-2.

Aberrant promoter DNA hypermethylation is a hallmark of cancer; however, whether this is sufficient to drive cellular transformation is not clear. To investigate this question, we use a CRISPR-dCas9 epigenetic editing tool, where an inactive form of Cas9 is fused to DNA methyltransferase effectors. Using this system, here we show simultaneous de novo DNA methylation of genes commonly methylated in cancer, CDKN2A, RASSF1, HIC1 and PTEN in primary breast cells isolated from healthy human breast tissue. We find that promoter methylation is maintained in this system, even in the absence of the fusion construct, and this prevents cells from engaging senescence arrest. Our data show that the key driver of this phenotype is repression of CDKN2A transcript p16 where myoepithelial cells harbour cancer-like gene expression but do not exhibit anchorage-independent growth. This work demonstrates that hit-and-run epigenetic events can prevent senescence entry, which may facilitate tumour initiation.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Zhang Y, Liang Z, Zong Y, et al (2016)

Efficient and transgene-free genome editing in wheat through transient expression of CRISPR/Cas9 DNA or RNA.

Nature communications, 7:12617 pii:ncomms12617.

Editing plant genomes is technically challenging in hard-to-transform plants and usually involves transgenic intermediates, which causes regulatory concerns. Here we report two simple and efficient genome-editing methods in which plants are regenerated from callus cells transiently expressing CRISPR/Cas9 introduced as DNA or RNA. This transient expression-based genome-editing system is highly efficient and specific for producing transgene-free and homozygous wheat mutants in the T0 generation. We demonstrate our protocol to edit genes in hexaploid bread wheat and tetraploid durum wheat, and show that we are able to generate mutants with no detectable transgenes. Our methods may be applicable to other plant species, thus offering the potential to accelerate basic and applied plant genome-engineering research.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Nguyen DP, Miyaoka Y, Gilbert LA, et al (2016)

Ligand-binding domains of nuclear receptors facilitate tight control of split CRISPR activity.

Nature communications, 7:12009 pii:ncomms12009.

Cas9-based RNA-guided nuclease (RGN) has emerged to be a versatile method for genome editing due to the ease of construction of RGN reagents to target specific genomic sequences. The ability to control the activity of Cas9 with a high temporal resolution will facilitate tight regulation of genome editing processes for studying the dynamics of transcriptional regulation or epigenetic modifications in complex biological systems. Here we show that fusing ligand-binding domains of nuclear receptors to split Cas9 protein fragments can provide chemical control over split Cas9 activity. The method has allowed us to control Cas9 activity in a tunable manner with no significant background, which has been challenging for other inducible Cas9 constructs. We anticipate that our design will provide opportunities through the use of different ligand-binding domains to enable multiplexed genome regulation of endogenous genes in distinct loci through simultaneous chemical regulation of orthogonal Cas9 variants.

RevDate: 2018-09-11
CmpDate: 2018-09-11

Li Q, Zhang D, Chen M, et al (2016)

Development of japonica Photo-Sensitive Genic Male Sterile Rice Lines by Editing Carbon Starved Anther Using CRISPR/Cas9.

Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao, 43(6):415-419.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

Dangi AK, Sharma B, Hill RT, et al (2018)

Bioremediation through microbes: systems biology and metabolic engineering approach.

Critical reviews in biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Today, environmental pollution is a serious problem, and bioremediation can play an important role in cleaning contaminated sites. Remediation strategies, such as chemical and physical approaches, are not enough to mitigate pollution problems because of the continuous generation of novel recalcitrant pollutants due to anthropogenic activities. Bioremediation using microbes is an eco-friendly and socially acceptable alternative to conventional remediation approaches. Many microbes with a bioremediation potential have been isolated and characterized but, in many cases, cannot completely degrade the targeted pollutant or are ineffective in situations with mixed wastes. This review envisages advances in systems biology (SB), which enables the analysis of microbial behavior at a community level under different environmental stresses. By applying a SB approach, crucial preliminary information can be obtained for metabolic engineering (ME) of microbes for their enhanced bioremediation capabilities. This review also highlights the integrated SB and ME tools and techniques for bioremediation purposes.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Li R, Zhang L, Wang L, et al (2018)

Reduction of Tomato-Plant Chilling Tolerance by CRISPR-Cas9-Mediated SlCBF1 Mutagenesis.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 66(34):9042-9051.

Chilling stress is the main constraint in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) production, as this is a chilling-sensitive horticultural crop. The highly conserved C-repeat binding factors (CBFs) are cold-response-system components found in many species. In this study, we generated slcbf1 mutants using the CRISPR-Cas9 system and investigated the role of SlCBF1 in tomato-plant chilling tolerances. The slcbf1 mutants exhibited more severe chilling-injury symptoms with higher electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde levels than wild-type (WT) plants. Additionally, slcbf1 mutants showed lower proline and protein contents and higher hydrogen peroxide contents and activities of antioxidant enzymes than WT plants. Knockout of SlCBF1 significantly increased indole acetic acid contents but decreased methyl jasmonate, abscisic acid, and zeatin riboside contents. The reduced chilling tolerance of the slcbf1 mutants was further reflected by the down-regulation of CBF-related genes. These results contribute to a better understanding of the molecular basis underlying SlCBF1 mediation of tomato chilling sensitivity.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Acosta S, Fiore L, Carota IA, et al (2018)

Use of two gRNAs for CRISPR/Cas9 improves bi-allelic homologous recombination efficiency in mouse embryonic stem cells.

Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000), 56(5):e23212.

Targeted genome editing in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is a powerful resource to functionally characterize genes and regulatory elements. The use of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing approach has remarkably improved the time and efficiency of targeted recombination. However, the efficiency of this protocol is still far from ideal when aiming for bi-allelic homologous recombination, requiring at least two independent targeting recombination events. Here we describe an improved protocol that uses two gRNAs flanking the selected targeted region, leading to highly efficient homologous recombination in mouse ESCs. The bi-allelic recombination targeting efficiency is over 90% when using two gRNAs together with the inhibition of non-homologous end-joint repair. Moreover, this technique is compatible with the generation of knocked-in mice and the use of ESC-derived differentiation protocols, therefore facilitating and accelerating the gene targeting in mice and ESCs.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Wu H, Liu Q, Shi H, et al (2018)

Engineering CRISPR/Cpf1 with tRNA promotes genome editing capability in mammalian systems.

Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, 75(19):3593-3607.

CRISPR/Cpf1 features a number of properties that are distinct from CRISPR/Cas9 and provides an excellent alternative to Cas9 for genome editing. To date, genome engineering by CRISPR/Cpf1 has been reported only in human cells and mouse embryos of mammalian systems and its efficiency is ultimately lower than that of Cas9 proteins from Streptococcus pyogenes. The application of CRISPR/Cpf1 for targeted mutagenesis in other animal models has not been successfully verified. In this study, we designed and optimized a guide RNA (gRNA) transcription system by inserting a transfer RNA precursor (pre-tRNA) sequence downstream of the gRNA for Cpf1, protecting gRNA from immediate digestion by 3'-to-5' exonucleases. Using this new gRNAtRNA system, genome editing, including indels, large fragment deletion and precise point mutation, was induced in mammalian systems, showing significantly higher efficiency than the original Cpf1-gRNA system. With this system, gene-modified rabbits and pigs were generated by embryo injection or somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) with an efficiency comparable to that of the Cas9 gRNA system. These results demonstrated that this refined gRNAtRNA system can boost the targeting capability of CRISPR/Cpf1 toolkits.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Watanabe S, Sakurai T, Nakamura S, et al (2018)

The Combinational Use of CRISPR/Cas9 and Targeted Toxin Technology Enables Efficient Isolation of Bi-Allelic Knockout Non-Human Mammalian Clones.

International journal of molecular sciences, 19(4): pii:ijms19041075.

Recent advances in genome editing systems such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein-9 nuclease (CRISPR/Cas9) have facilitated genomic modification in mammalian cells. However, most systems employ transient treatment with selective drugs such as puromycin to obtain the desired genome-edited cells, which often allows some untransfected cells to survive and decreases the efficiency of generating genome-edited cells. Here, we developed a novel targeted toxin-based drug-free selection system for the enrichment of genome-edited cells. Cells were transfected with three expression vectors, each of which carries a guide RNA (gRNA), humanized Cas9 (hCas9) gene, or Clostridium perfringens-derived endo-&beta;-galactosidase C (EndoGalC) gene. Once EndoGalC is expressed in a cell, it digests the cell-surface &alpha;-Gal epitope, which is specifically recognized by BS-I-B₄ lectin (IB4). Three days after transfection, these cells were treated with cytotoxin saporin-conjugated IB4 (IB4SAP) for 30 min at 37 &deg;C prior to cultivation in a normal medium. Untransfected cells and those weakly expressing EndoGalC will die due to the internalization of saporin. Cells transiently expressing EndoGalC strongly survive, and some of these surviving clones are expected to be genome-edited bi-allelic knockout (KO) clones due to their strong co-expression of gRNA and hCas9. When porcine &alpha;-1,3-galactosyltransferase gene, which can synthesize the &alpha;-Gal epitope, was attempted to be knocked out, 16.7% and 36.7% of the surviving clones were bi-allelic and mono-allelic knockout (KO) cells, respectively, which was in contrast to the isolation of clones in the absence of IB4SAP treatment. Namely, 0% and 13.3% of the resulting clones were bi-allelic and mono-allelic KO cells, respectively. A similar tendency was seen when other target genes such as DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 2 and transforming growth factor-&beta; receptor type 1 gene were targeted to be knocked out. Our results indicate that a combination of the CRISPR/Cas9 system and targeted toxin technology using IB4SAP allows efficient enrichment of genome-edited clones, particularly bi-allelic KO clones.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Gao J, Zhang T, Xu B, et al (2018)

CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Mutagenesis of Carotenoid Cleavage Dioxygenase 8 (CCD8) in Tobacco Affects Shoot and Root Architecture.

International journal of molecular sciences, 19(4): pii:ijms19041062.

Strigolactones (SLs) are a class of phytohormones that regulate plant architecture. Carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (CCD) genes are involved in the biosynthesis of SLs and are identified and characterized in many plants. However, the function of CCD genes in tobacco remains poorly understood. In this study, two closely related genes NtCCD8A and NtCCD8B were cloned from tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). The two NtCCD8 genes are orthologues of the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 8 (SlCCD8) gene. NtCCD8A and NtCCD8B were primarily expressed in tobacco roots, but low expression levels of these genes were detected in all plant tissues, and their transcript levels significantly increased in response to phosphate limitation. NtCCD8A and NtCCD8B mutations were introduced into tobacco using the CRISPR/Cas9 system and transgenic tobacco lines for both ntccd8 mutant alleles were identified. The ntccd8a and ntccd8b mutant alleles were inactivated by a deletion of three nucleotides and insertion of one nucleotide, respectively, both of which led to the production of premature stop codons. The ntccd8 mutants had increased shoot branching, reduced plant height, increased number of leaves and nodes, and reduced total plant biomass compared to wild-type plants; however, the root-to-shoot ratio was unchanged. In addition, mutant lines had shorter primary roots and more of lateral roots than wild type. These results suggest that NtCCD8 genes are important for changes in tobacco plant architecture.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Vad-Nielsen J, Nielsen AL, Y Luo (2018)

Simple method for assembly of CRISPR synergistic activation mediator gRNA expression array.

Journal of biotechnology, 274:54-57.

When studying complex interconnected regulatory networks, effective methods for simultaneously manipulating multiple genes expression are paramount. Previously, we have developed a simple method for generation of an all-in-one CRISPR gRNA expression array. We here present a Golden Gate Assembly-based system of synergistic activation mediator (SAM) compatible CRISPR/dCas9 gRNA expression array for the simultaneous activation of multiple genes. Using this system, we demonstrated the simultaneous activation of the transcription factors, TWIST, SNAIL, SLUG, and ZEB1 a human breast cancer cell line.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Xie H, Tang L, He X, et al (2018)

SaCas9 Requires 5'-NNGRRT-3' PAM for Sufficient Cleavage and Possesses Higher Cleavage Activity than SpCas9 or FnCpf1 in Human Cells.

Biotechnology journal, 13(4):e1700561.

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene therapy holds great promise for the treatment of human diseases. The protospacer adjacent motif (PAM), the sequence adjacent to the target sequence, is an essential targeting component for the design of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing. However, currently, very few studies have attempted to directly study the PAM sequence in human cells. To address this issue, the authors develop a dual fluorescence reporter system that could be harnessed for identifying functional PAMs for genome editing endonuclease, including Cas9. With this system, the authors investigate the effects of different PAM sequences for SaCas9, which is small and has the advantage of allowing in vivo genome editing, and found only 5'-NNGRRT-3' PAM could induced sufficient target cleavage with multi-sites. The authors also found SaCas9 possesses higher activity than SpCas9 or FnCpf1 via plasmids (episomal) and chromosomes with integrated eGFP-based comparison. Taken together, the authors show that a dual fluorescence reporter system is a means to identifying a functional PAM and quantitatively comparing the efficiency of different genome editing endonucleases with the similar or identical target sequence in human cells.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Merkert S, U Martin (2018)

Targeted Gene Editing in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Using Site-Specific Nucleases.

Advances in biochemical engineering/biotechnology, 163:169-186.

Introduction of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology and site-directed nucleases brought a major breakthrough in the development of regenerative therapies and biomedical research. With the advancement of ZFNs, TALENs, and the CRISPR/Cas9 technology, straightforward and precise manipulation of the genome of human pluripotent stem cells (PSC) became possible, allowing relatively easy and fast generation of gene knockouts, integration of transgenes, or even introduction of single nucleotide changes for correction or introduction of disease-specific mutations. We review current applications of site-specific nucleases in human PSCs and focus on trends and challenges for efficient gene editing and improvement of targeting strategies. Graphical Abstract.

RevDate: 2018-09-10
CmpDate: 2018-09-10

Pankowicz FP, Barzi M, Legras X, et al (2016)

Reprogramming metabolic pathways in vivo with CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to treat hereditary tyrosinaemia.

Nature communications, 7:12642 pii:ncomms12642.

Many metabolic liver disorders are refractory to drug therapy and require orthotopic liver transplantation. Here we demonstrate a new strategy, which we call metabolic pathway reprogramming, to treat hereditary tyrosinaemia type I in mice; rather than edit the disease-causing gene, we delete a gene in a disease-associated pathway to render the phenotype benign. Using CRISPR/Cas9 in vivo, we convert hepatocytes from tyrosinaemia type I into the benign tyrosinaemia type III by deleting Hpd (hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxigenase). Edited hepatocytes (Fah(-/-)/Hpd(-/-)) display a growth advantage over non-edited hepatocytes (Fah(-/-)/Hpd(+/+)) and, in some mice, almost completely replace them within 8 weeks. Hpd excision successfully reroutes tyrosine catabolism, leaving treated mice healthy and asymptomatic. Metabolic pathway reprogramming sidesteps potential difficulties associated with editing a critical disease-causing gene and can be explored as an option for treating other diseases.

RevDate: 2018-09-09

St John E, Liu Y, Podar M, et al (2018)

A new symbiotic nanoarchaeote (Candidatus Nanoclepta minutus) and its host (Zestosphaera tikiterensis gen. nov., sp. nov.) from a New Zealand hot spring.

Systematic and applied microbiology pii:S0723-2020(18)30226-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Three thermophilic Nanoarchaeota-Crenarchaeota symbiotic systems have been described. We obtained another stable anaerobic enrichment culture at 80°C, pH 6.0 from a New Zealand hot spring. The nanoarchaeote (Ncl-1) and its host (NZ3T) were isolated in co-culture and their genomes assembled. The small (∼200nm) flagellated cocci were often attached to larger cocci. Based on 16S rRNA gene similarity (88.4%) and average amino acid identity (52%), Ncl-1 is closely related to Candidatus Nanopusillus acidilobi. Their genomes both encode for archaeal flagella and partial glycolysis and gluconeogenesis pathways, but lack ATP synthase genes. Like Nanoarchaeum equitans, Ncl-1 has a CRISPR-Cas system. Ncl-1 also relies on its crenarchaeotal host for most of its biosynthetic needs. The host NZ3T was isolated and grows on proteinaceous substrates but not on sugars, alcohols, or fatty acids. NZ3T requires thiosulfate and grows best at 82°C, pH 6.0. NZ3T is most closely related to the Desulfurococcaceae, Ignisphaera aggregans (∼92% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, 45% AAI). Based on phylogenetic, physiological and genomic data, Ncl-1 and NZ3T represent novel genera in the Nanoarchaeota and the Desulfurococcaceae, respectively, with the proposed names Candidatus Nanoclepta minutus and Zestosphaera tikiterensis gen. nov., sp. nov., type strain NZ3T (=DSMZ 107634T=OCM 1213T).

RevDate: 2018-09-09

Gao Z, Herrera-Carrillo E, B Berkhout (2018)

RNA Polymerase II Activity of Type 3 Pol III Promoters.

Molecular therapy. Nucleic acids, 12:135-145.

In eukaryotes, three RNA polymerases (Pol I, II, and III) are responsible for the transcription of distinct subsets of genes. Gene-external type 3 Pol III promoters use defined transcription start and termination sites, and they are, therefore, widely used for small RNA expression, including short hairpin RNAs in RNAi applications and guide RNAs in CRISPR-Cas systems. We report that all three commonly used human Pol III promoters (7SK, U6, and H1) mediate luciferase reporter gene expression, which indicates Pol II activity, but to a different extent (H1 ≫ U6 > 7SK). We demonstrate that these promoters can recruit Pol II for transcribing extended messenger transcripts. Intriguingly, selective inhibition of Pol II stimulates the Pol III activity and vice versa, suggesting that two polymerase complexes compete for promoter usage. Pol II initiates transcription at the regular Pol III start site on the 7SK and U6 promoters, but Pol II transcription on the most active H1 promoter starts 8 nt upstream of the Pol III start site. This study provides functional evidence for the close relationship of Pol II and Pol III transcription. These mechanistic insights are important for optimal use of Pol III promoters, and they offer additional flexibility for biotechnology applications of these genetic elements.

RevDate: 2018-09-08

Faure G, Makarova KS, EV Koonin (2018)

CRISPR-Cas: Complex functional networks and multiple roles beyond adaptive immunity.

Journal of molecular biology pii:S0022-2836(18)31013-1 [Epub ahead of print].

CRISPR-Cas is a prokaryotic adaptive immune system that functions by incorporating fragments of foreign DNA into CRISPR arrays. The arrays containing spacers derived from foreign DNA are transcribed, and the transcripts are processed to generate spacer-containing mature CRISPR-RNAs that are employed as guides to specifically recognize and cleave the DNA or RNA of the cognate parasitic genetic elements. The CRISPR-Cas systems show remarkable complexity and diversity of molecular organization and appear to be involved in various cellular functions that are distinct from, even if connected to, adaptive immunity. In this review, we discuss some of such functional links of CRISPR-Cas systems including their effect on horizontal gene transfer that can be either inhibitory or stimulatory, connections between CRISPR-Cas and DNA repair systems as well as programmed cell death and signal transduction mechanisms, and potential role of CRISPR-Cas in transposon integration and plasmid maintenance. The interplay between the primary function of CRISPR-Cas as an adaptive immunity mechanism and these other roles defines the richness of the biological effects of these systems and affects their spread among bacteria and archaea.

RevDate: 2018-09-07

Vogel P, T Stafforst (2018)

Critical review on engineering deaminases for site-directed RNA editing.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 55:74-80 pii:S0958-1669(18)30067-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The game-changing role of CRISPR/Cas for genome editing draw interest to programmable RNA-guided tools in general. Currently, we see a wave of papers pioneering the CRISPR/Cas system for RNA targeting, and applying them for site-directed RNA editing. Here, we exemplarily compare three recent RNA editing strategies that rely on three distinct RNA targeting mechanisms. We conclude that the CRISPR/Cas system seems not generally superior to other RNA targeting strategies in solving the most pressing problem in the RNA editing field, which is to obtain high efficiency in combination with high specificity. However, once achieved, RNA editing promises to complement or even outcompete DNA editing approaches in therapy, and also in some fields of basic research.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

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By delivering the Cas9 nuclease, complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA) into a cell, the cell's genome can be precisely cut at any desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added. That is, the CRISPR-Cas system provides a tool for the cut-and-paste editing of genomes. Welcome to the brave new world of genome editing. R. Robbins

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Woodinville, WA 98077

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )