Multimode drug inducible CRISPR/Cas9 devices for transcriptional activation and genome editing.
ABSTRACT: Precise investigation and manipulation of dynamic biological processes often requires molecular modulation in a controlled inducible manner. The clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated protein 9 (Cas9) has emerged as a versatile tool for targeted gene editing and transcriptional programming. Here, we designed and vigorously optimized a series of Hybrid drug Inducible CRISPR/Cas9 Technologies (HIT) for transcriptional activation by grafting a mutated human estrogen receptor (ERT2) to multiple CRISPR/Cas9 systems, which renders them 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) inducible for the access of genome. Further, extra functionality of simultaneous genome editing was achieved with one device we named HIT2. Optimized terminal devices herein delivered advantageous performances in comparison with several existing designs. They exerted selective, titratable, rapid and reversible response to drug induction. In addition, these designs were successfully adapted to an orthogonal Cas9. HIT systems developed in this study can be applied for controlled modulation of potentially any genomic loci in multiple modes.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 enabled efficient gene editing in an easy and programmable manner. Controlling its activity in greater precision is desired for biomedical research and potential therapeutic translation. Here, we engrafted the CRISPR/Cas9 system with a mutated human estrogen receptor (ERT2), which renders it 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) inducible for the access of genome, and a nuclear export signal (NES), which lowers the background activity. Tight and efficient drug-inducible genome editing was achieved across several human cell types, including embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), upon vigorous optimization. Optimized terminal device, which we named hybrid drug inducible CRISPR/Cas9 technology (HIT-Cas9), delivered advantageous performances over several existing designs. Such architecture was also successfully applied to an orthogonal Cas9. The HIT-Cas9 system developed in this study will find broad utility in controlled editing of potentially any genomic loci.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful tool for studying gene function. Here, we describe a method that allows temporal control of CRISPR/Cas9 activity based on conditional Cas9 destabilization. We demonstrate that fusing an FKBP12-derived destabilizing domain to Cas9 (DD-Cas9) enables conditional Cas9 expression and temporal control of gene editing in the presence of an FKBP12 synthetic ligand. This system can be easily adapted to co-express, from the same promoter, DD-Cas9 with any other gene of interest without co-modulation of the latter. In particular, when co-expressed with inducible Cre-ERT2, our system enables parallel, independent manipulation of alleles targeted by Cas9 and traditional recombinase with single-cell specificity. We anticipate this platform will be used for the systematic characterization and identification of essential genes, as well as the investigation of the interactions between functional genes.
Project description:Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is an outcrossing tetraploid legume species widely cultivated in the world. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system has been successfully used for genome editing in many plant species. However, the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene knockout in alfalfa is still very challenging. Our initial single gRNA-CRISPR/Cas9 system had very low mutagenesis efficiency in alfalfa with no mutant phenotype. In order to develop an optimized genome editing system in alfalfa, we constructed multiplex gRNA-CRISPR/Cas9 vectors by a polycistronic tRNA-gRNA approach targeting the Medicago sativa stay-green (MsSGR) gene. The replacement of CaMV35S promoter by the Arabidopsis ubiquitin promoter (AtUBQ10) to drive Cas9 expression in the multiplex gRNA system led to a significant improvement in genome editing efficiency, whereas modification of the gRNA scaffold resulted in lower editing efficiency. The most effective multiplex system exhibited 75% genotypic mutagenesis efficiency, which is 30-fold more efficient than the single gRNA vector. Importantly, phenotypic change was easily observed in the mutants, and the phenotypic mutation efficiency reached 68%. This highly efficient multiplex gRNA-CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system allowed the generation of homozygous mutants with a complete knockout of the four allelic copies in the T0 generation. This optimized system offers an effective way of testing gene functions and overcomes a major barrier in the utilization of genome editing for alfalfa improvement.
Project description:Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) systems have been employed as a powerful versatile technology for programmable gene editing, transcriptional modulation, epigenetic modulation, and genome labeling, etc. Yet better control of their activity is important to accomplish greater precision and to reduce undesired outcomes such as off-target events. The use of small molecules to control CRISPR/Cas activity represents a promising direction. Here, we provide an updated review on multiple drug inducible CRISPR/Cas systems and discuss their distinct properties. We arbitrarily divided the emerging drug inducible CRISPR/Cas systems into two categories based on whether at transcription or protein level does chemical control occurs. The first category includes Tet-On/Off system and Cre-dependent system. The second category includes chemically induced proximity systems, intein splicing system, 4-Hydroxytamoxifen-Estrogen Receptor based nuclear localization systems, allosterically regulated Cas9 system, and destabilizing domain mediated protein degradation systems. Finally, the advantages and limitations of each system were summarized.
Project description:Transient expression of CRISPR/Cas9 is an effective approach for limiting its activities and improving its precision in genome editing. Here, we describe the heat-shock-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 for controlled genome editing, and demonstrate its efficiency in the model crop, rice. Using the soybean heat-shock protein gene promoter and the rice U3 promoter to express Cas9 and sgRNA, respectively, we developed the heat-shock (HS)-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 system, and tested its efficacy in targeted mutagenesis. Two loci were targeted in rice, and the presence of targeted mutations was determined before and after the HS treatment. Only a low rate of targeted mutagenesis was detected before HS (~16%), but an increased rate of mutagenesis was observed after the HS treatment among the transgenic lines (50-63%). Analysis of regenerated plants harboring HS-CRISPR/Cas9 revealed that targeted mutagenesis was suppressed in the plants but induced by HS, which was detectable by Sanger sequencing after a few weeks of HS treatments. Most importantly, the HS-induced mutations were transmitted to the progeny at a high rate, generating monoallelic and biallelic mutations that independently segregated from the Cas9 gene. Additionally, off-target mutations were either undetectable or found at a lower rate in HS-CRISPR/Cas9 lines as compared to the constitutive-overexpression CRISPR/Cas9 lines. Taken together, this work shows that HS-CRISPR/Cas9 is a controlled and reasonably efficient platform for genome editing, and therefore, a promising tool for limiting genome-wide off-target effects and improving the precision of genome editing.
Project description:CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing enables the rapid genetic manipulation of any genomic locus without the need for gene targeting by homologous recombination. Here we describe a conditional transgenic approach that allows temporal control of CRISPR-Cas9 activity for inducible genome editing in adult mice. We show that doxycycline-regulated Cas9 induction enables widespread gene disruption in multiple tissues and that limiting the duration of Cas9 expression or using a Cas9(D10A) (Cas9n) variant can regulate the frequency and size of target gene modifications, respectively. Further, we show that this inducible CRISPR (iCRISPR) system can be used effectively to create biallelic mutation in multiple target loci and, thus, provides a flexible and fast platform to study loss-of-function phenotypes in vivo.
Project description:Background:Targeted genome editing using the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system has been applied in a large number of plant species. Using a gene-specific single guide RNA (sgRNA) and the CRISPR/Cas9 system, small editing events such as deletions of few bases can be obtained. However larger deletions are required for some applications. In addition, identification and characterization of edited events can be challenging in plants with complex genomes, such as wheat. Results:In this study, we used the CRISPR/Cas9 system and developed a protocol that yielded high number of large deletions employing a pair of co-expressed sgRNA to target the same gene. The protocol was validated by targeting three genes, TaABCC6, TaNFXL1 and TansLTP9.4 in a wheat protoplast assay. Deletions of sequences located between the two sgRNA in each gene were the most frequent editing events observed for two of the three genes. A comparative assessment of editing frequencies between a codon-optimized Cas9 for expression in algae, crCas9, and a plant codon-optimized Cas9, pcoCas9, showed more consistent results with the vector expressing pcoCas9. Editing of TaNFXL1 by co-expression of sgRNA pair was investigated in transgenic wheat plants. Given the ploidy of bread wheat, a rapid, robust and inexpensive genotyping protocol was also adapted for hexaploid genomes and shown to be a useful tool to identify homoeolog-specific editing events in wheat. Conclusions:Co-expressed pairs of sgRNA targeting single genes in conjunction with the CRISPR/Cas9 system produced large deletions in wheat. In addition, a genotyping protocol to identify editing events in homoeologs of TaNFXL1 was successfully adapted.
Project description:Background:Metabolic engineering has expanded from a focus on designs requiring a small number of genetic modifications to increasingly complex designs driven by advances in multiplex genome editing technologies. However, simultaneously modulating multiple genes on the chromosome remains challenging in Bacillus subtilis. Thus, developing an efficient and convenient method for B. subtilis multiplex genome editing is imperative. Results:Here, we developed a CRISPR/Cas9n-based multiplex genome editing system for iterative genome editing in B. subtilis. This system enabled us to introduce various types of genomic modifications with more satisfying efficiency than using CRISPR/Cas9, especially in multiplex gene editing. Our system achieved at least 80% efficiency for 1-8 kb gene deletions, at least 90% efficiency for 1-2 kb gene insertions, near 100% efficiency for site-directed mutagenesis, 23.6% efficiency for large DNA fragment deletion and near 50% efficiency for three simultaneous point mutations. The efficiency for multiplex gene editing was further improved by regulating the nick repair mechanism mediated by ligD gene, which finally led to roughly 65% efficiency for introducing three point mutations on the chromosome. To demonstrate its potential, we applied our system to simultaneously fine-tune three genes in the riboflavin operon and significantly improved the production of riboflavin in a single cycle. Conclusions:We present not only the iterative CRISPR/Cas9n system for B. subtilis but also the highest efficiency for simultaneous modulation of multiple genes on the chromosome in B. subtilis reported to date. We anticipate this CRISPR/Cas9n mediated system to greatly enhance the optimization of diverse biological systems via metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 technology has greatly improved genome editing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae over recent years. However, several current CRISPR/Cas9 systems suffer from work-intensive cloning procedures and/or the requirement of co-transforming target cells with multiple system components simultaneously which can reduce the effectivity of such applications. Here, we present a new set of all-in-one CRISPR/Cas9 vectors that combine unique benefits of different already existent systems in order to further expand the technology's design possibilities. Our vectors mediate constitutive gRNA expression whereas Cas9 expression is either driven from a constitutive or an inducible promoter. The introduction of desired gRNA targeting sequences into our inducible single gRNA vector relies just on in vivo homologous recombination-mediated assembly of overlapping single-stranded oligonucleotides, thus reducing efforts of plasmid cloning to an absolute minimum. By employing the inducible system, yeast cells can be easily preloaded with plasmids encoding for a functional CRISPR/Cas9 system, thereby chronologically separating the cloning procedure from the genome editing step. Gene knockouts could be achieved with high efficiency and effectivity by simply transforming preloaded cells with a selectable disruption cassette without the need of co-introducing any CRISPR/Cas9 system component. We also show the feasibility of efficient gene knockouts even when multiple gene copies were present such as in non-haploid strain backgrounds as well as the simultaneous deletion of two different genes in a haploid genetic background by using a multiplex variant of our inducible vector. The versatile applicability of our inducible vector system was further demonstrated by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mating type switching of yeast.
Project description:CRISPR-Cas9 is an efficient and versatile tool for genome engineering in many species. However, inducible CRISPR-Cas9 editing systems that regulate Cas9 activity or sgRNA expression often suffer from significant limitations, including reduced editing capacity, off-target effects, or leaky expression. Here, we develop a precisely controlled sgRNA expression cassette that can be combined with widely-used Cre systems, termed CRISPR-Switch (SgRNA With Induction/Termination by Cre Homologous recombination). Switch-ON facilitates controlled, rapid induction of sgRNA activity. In turn, Switch-OFF-mediated termination of editing improves generation of heterozygous genotypes and can limit off-target effects. Furthermore, we design sequential CRISPR-Switch-based editing of two loci in a strictly programmable manner and determined the order of mutagenic events that leads to development of glioblastoma in mice. Thus, CRISPR-Switch substantially increases the versatility of gene editing through precise and rapid switching ON or OFF sgRNA activity, as well as switching OVER to secondary sgRNAs.