Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system, which relies on RNA-guided DNA cleavage to induce site-specific DNA double-strand breaks, is a powerful tool for genome editing. This system has been successfully adapted for the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe by expressing Cas9 and the single-guide RNA (sgRNA) from a plasmid. In the procedures published to date, the cloning step that introduces a specific sgRNA target sequence into the plasmid is the most tedious and time-consuming. To increase the efficiency of applying the CRISPR/Cas9 system in fission yeast, we here developed a cloning-free procedure that uses gap repair in fission yeast cells to assemble two linear DNA fragments, a gapped Cas9-encoding plasmid and a PCR-amplified sgRNA insert, into a circular plasmid. Both fragments contain only a portion of the ura4 or bsdMX marker so that only the correctly assembled plasmid can confer uracil prototrophy or blasticidin resistance. We show that this gap-repair-based and cloning-free CRISPR/Cas9 procedure permits rapid and efficient point mutation knock-in, endogenous N-terminal tagging, and genomic sequence deletion in fission yeast.
Project description:Effective and safe delivery of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing elements remains a challenge. Here we report the development of PEGylated nanoparticles (named P-HNPs) based on the cationic α-helical polypeptide poly(γ-4-((2-(piperidin-1-yl)ethyl)aminomethyl)benzyl-l-glutamate) for the delivery of Cas9 expression plasmid and sgRNA to various cell types and gene-editing scenarios. The cell-penetrating α-helical polypeptide enhanced cellular uptake and promoted escape of pCas9 and/or sgRNA from the endosome and transport into the nucleus. The colloidally stable P-HNPs achieved a Cas9 transfection efficiency up to 60% and sgRNA uptake efficiency of 67.4%, representing an improvement over existing polycation-based gene delivery systems. After performing single or multiplex gene editing with an efficiency up to 47.3% in vitro, we demonstrated that P-HNPs delivering Cas9 plasmid/sgRNA targeting the polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) gene achieved 35% gene deletion in HeLa tumor tissue to reduce the Plk1 protein level by 66.7%, thereby suppressing the tumor growth by >71% and prolonging the animal survival rate to 60% within 60 days. Capable of delivering Cas9 plasmids to various cell types to achieve multiplex gene knock-out, gene knock-in, and gene activation in vitro and in vivo, the P-HNP system offers a versatile gene-editing platform for biological research and therapeutic applications.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas9-induced genome editing is a powerful tool for studying gene function in a variety of organisms, including plants. Using multi-sgRNAs to target one or more genes is helpful to improve the efficacy of gene editing and facilitate multi-gene editing. Here, we describe a CRISPR/Cas9 system which can be conveniently developed as a CRISPR kit. SgRNA expression cassettes can be rapidly generated by one-step PCR using our CRISPR kit. In our kit, there are two binary vectors pHNCas9 and pHNCas9HT. The binary vector pHNCas9 was constructed to allow to assemble up to eight sgRNA expression cassettes by one-step Golden Gate cloning. Another binary vector pHNCas9HT can be used to generate a large number of single target constructs by directly transforming ligation reactions products into <i>A. tumefaciens</i> without several procedures, such as PCR and plasmid extraction. The two binary vectors are designed according to the principles of standard BioBrick assembly to be used as an open-source tool. For example, we used BioBrick as a visual T-DNA tag. We also developed a primer design aid to complement the system. With this primer design aid, researchers can rapidly obtain primers and GC content, and sgRNA sequence of target site. Our CRISPR/Cas9 system can perform single- and multi-site editing and multiple gene editing to produce various types of mutations in tomato. This rapid and user-friendly CRISPR/Cas9 system for tomato can be potentially used for mutagenesis of important crop species for genetic improvement and is suitable for research into the function of genes.
Project description:The CRISPR-associated RNA-guided nuclease Cas9 has emerged as a powerful tool for genome engineering in a variety of organisms. To achieve efficient gene targeting rates in Drosophila, current approaches require either injection of in vitro transcribed RNAs or injection into transgenic Cas9-expressing embryos. We report a simple and versatile alternative method for CRISPR-mediated genome editing in Drosophila using bicistronic Cas9/sgRNA expression vectors. Gene targeting with this single-plasmid injection approach is as efficient as in transgenic nanos-Cas9 embryos and allows the isolation of targeted knock-out and knock-in alleles by molecular screening within 2 months. Our strategy is independent of genetic background and does not require prior establishment of transgenic flies.
Project description:Kiwifruit is an important fruit crop; however, technologies for its functional genomic and molecular improvement are limited. The clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) system has been successfully applied to genetic improvement in many crops, but its editing capability is variable depending on the different combinations of the synthetic guide RNA (sgRNA) and Cas9 protein expression devices. Optimizing conditions for its use within a particular species is therefore needed to achieve highly efficient genome editing. In this study, we developed a new cloning strategy for generating paired-sgRNA/Cas9 vectors containing four sgRNAs targeting the kiwifruit phytoene desaturase gene (AcPDS). Comparing to the previous method of paired-sgRNA cloning, our strategy only requires the synthesis of two gRNA-containing primers which largely reduces the cost. We further compared efficiencies of paired-sgRNA/Cas9 vectors containing different sgRNA expression devices, including both the polycistronic tRNA-sgRNA cassette (PTG) and the traditional CRISPR expression cassette. We found the mutagenesis frequency of the PTG/Cas9 system was 10-fold higher than that of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, coinciding with the relative expressions of sgRNAs in two different expression cassettes. In particular, we identified large chromosomal fragment deletions induced by the paired-sgRNAs of the PTG/Cas9 system. Finally, as expected, we found both systems can successfully induce the albino phenotype of kiwifruit plantlets regenerated from the G418-resistance callus lines. We conclude that the PTG/Cas9 system is a more powerful system than the traditional CRISPR/Cas9 system for kiwifruit genome editing, which provides valuable clues for optimizing CRISPR/Cas9 editing system in other plants.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas-mediated genome editing is a powerful tool for generating genetically mutated cells and organisms. Linearisation of donor cassettes with this system has been shown to facilitate both transgene donor insertion and targeted knock-in. Here, we developed a donor plasmid that we name pCriMGET (plasmid of synthetic CRISPR coded RNA target sequence-equipped donor plasmid-mediated gene targeting), in which an off-target free synthetic CRISPR coded RNA-target sequence (syn-crRNA-TS) is incorporated with a multi-cloning site, where a donor cassette can be inserted. With co-expression of Cas9 and the syn-crRNA-TS guide RNA (gRNA), pCriMGET provides a linearised donor cassette in vivo, thereby promoting the transgene donor insertion and targeted knock-in. When co-injected with Cas9 protein and gRNA into murine zygotes, pCriMGET yielded around 20% transgene insertion in embryos. This method also achieved more than 25% in-frame knock-in at the mouse Tbx3 gene locus without predicted insertion-deletion mutations using a transgene donor with 400-bp homology arms. pCriMGET is therefore useful as a versatile CRISPR/Cas9-cleavable donor plasmid for efficient integration and targeted knock-in of exogenous DNA in mice.
Project description:<h4>Motivation</h4>The development of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) technology has provided a simple yet powerful system for targeted genome editing. In recent years, this system has been widely used for various gene editing applications. The CRISPR editing efficacy is mainly dependent on the single guide RNA (sgRNA), which guides Cas9 for genome cleavage. While there have been multiple attempts at improving sgRNA design, there is a pressing need for greater sgRNA potency and generalizability across various experimental conditions.<h4>Results</h4>We employed a unique plasmid library expressed in human cells to quantify the potency of thousands of CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNAs. Differential sequence and structural features among the most and least potent sgRNAs were then used to train a machine learning algorithm for assay design. Comparative analysis indicates that our new algorithm outperforms existing CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNA design tools.<h4>Availability and implementation</h4>The new sgRNA design tool is freely accessible as a web application, http://crispr.wustl.edu.<h4>Supplementary information</h4>Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Project description:We present self-cloning CRISPR/Cas9 (scCRISPR), a technology that allows for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genomic mutation and site-specific knockin transgene creation within several hours by circumventing the need to clone a site-specific single-guide RNA (sgRNA) or knockin homology construct for each target locus. We introduce a self-cleaving palindromic sgRNA plasmid and a short double-stranded DNA sequence encoding the desired locus-specific sgRNA into target cells, allowing them to produce a locus-specific sgRNA plasmid through homologous recombination. scCRISPR enables efficient generation of gene knockouts (?88% mutation rate) at approximately one-sixth the cost of plasmid-based sgRNA construction with only 2 hr of preparation for each targeted site. Additionally, we demonstrate efficient site-specific knockin of GFP transgenes without any plasmid cloning or genome-integrated selection cassette in mouse and human embryonic stem cells (2%-4% knockin rate) through PCR-based addition of short homology arms. scCRISPR substantially lowers the bar on mouse and human transgenesis.
Project description:CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas9 gene editing technology is derived from a microbial adaptive immune system, where bacteriophages are often the intended target. Natural inhibitors of CRISPR-Cas9 enable phages to evade immunity and show promise in controlling Cas9-mediated gene editing in human cells. However, the mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9 inhibition is not known, and the potential applications for Cas9 inhibitor proteins in mammalian cells have not been fully established. We show that the anti-CRISPR protein AcrIIA4 binds only to assembled Cas9-single-guide RNA (sgRNA) complexes and not to Cas9 protein alone. A 3.9 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the Cas9-sgRNA-AcrIIA4 complex revealed that the surface of AcrIIA4 is highly acidic and binds with a 1:1 stoichiometry to a region of Cas9 that normally engages the DNA protospacer adjacent motif. Consistent with this binding mode, order-of-addition experiments showed that AcrIIA4 interferes with DNA recognition but has no effect on preformed Cas9-sgRNA-DNA complexes. Timed delivery of AcrIIA4 into human cells as either protein or expression plasmid allows on-target Cas9-mediated gene editing while reducing off-target edits. These results provide a mechanistic understanding of AcrIIA4 function and demonstrate that inhibitors can modulate the extent and outcomes of Cas9-mediated gene editing.
Project description:Sequence-specific nucleases like TALENs and the CRISPR/Cas9 system have greatly expanded the genome editing possibilities in model organisms such as zebrafish. Both systems have recently been used to create knock-out alleles with great efficiency, and TALENs have also been successfully employed in knock-in of DNA cassettes at defined loci via homologous recombination (HR). Here we report CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in of DNA cassettes into the zebrafish genome at a very high rate by homology-independent double-strand break (DSB) repair pathways. After co-injection of a donor plasmid with a short guide RNA (sgRNA) and Cas9 nuclease mRNA, concurrent cleavage of donor plasmid DNA and the selected chromosomal integration site resulted in efficient targeted integration of donor DNA. We successfully employed this approach to convert eGFP into Gal4 transgenic lines, and the same plasmids and sgRNAs can be applied in any species where eGFP lines were generated as part of enhancer and gene trap screens. In addition, we show the possibility of easily targeting DNA integration at endogenous loci, thus greatly facilitating the creation of reporter and loss-of-function alleles. Due to its simplicity, flexibility, and very high efficiency, our method greatly expands the repertoire for genome editing in zebrafish and can be readily adapted to many other organisms.