1932

Abstract

Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas loci encode proteins that function as an adaptive immune system against infectious viruses and plasmids. Immunity is mediated by Cas nucleases and small RNA guides, which specify a cleavage site within the genome of the invader. In type II CRISPR-Cas systems, the RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease cleaves the DNA. Cas9 can be reprogrammed to create double-strand DNA breaks in the genomes of a variety of organisms, from bacteria to human cells. Repair of Cas9 lesions by homologous recombination or nonhomologous end joining mechanisms can lead to the introduction of specific nucleotide substitutions or indel mutations, respectively. Furthermore, a nuclease-null Cas9 has been developed to regulate endogenous gene expression and to label genomic loci in living cells. Targeted genome editing and gene regulation mediated by Cas9 are easy to program, scale, and multiplex, allowing researchers to decipher the causal link between genetic and phenotypic variation. In this review, we describe the most notable applications of Cas9 in basic biology, translational medicine, synthetic biology, biotechnology, and other fields.

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2015-10-15
2024-04-18
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