Development and Application of CRISPR/Cas in Microbial Biotechnology.
ABSTRACT: The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated (Cas) system has been rapidly developed as versatile genomic engineering tools with high efficiency, accuracy and flexibility, and has revolutionized traditional methods for applications in microbial biotechnology. Here, key points of building reliable CRISPR/Cas system for genome engineering are discussed, including the Cas protein, the guide RNA and the donor DNA. Following an overview of various CRISPR/Cas tools for genome engineering, including gene activation, gene interference, orthogonal CRISPR systems and precise single base editing, we highlighted the application of CRISPR/Cas toolbox for multiplexed engineering and high throughput screening. We then summarize recent applications of CRISPR/Cas systems in metabolic engineering toward production of chemicals and natural compounds, and end with perspectives of future advancements.
Project description:Establishment of production platforms through prokaryotic engineering in microbial organisms would be one of the most efficient means for chemicals, protein, and biofuels production. Despite the fact that CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-based technologies have readily emerged as powerful and versatile tools for genetic manipulations, their applications are generally limited in prokaryotes, possibly owing to the large size and severe cytotoxicity of the heterogeneous Cas (CRISPR-associated) effector. Nevertheless, the rich natural occurrence of CRISPR-Cas systems in many bacteria and most archaea holds great potential for endogenous CRISPR-based prokaryotic engineering. The endogenous CRISPR-Cas systems, with type I systems that constitute the most abundant and diverse group, would be repurposed as genetic manipulation tools once they are identified and characterized as functional in their native hosts. This article reviews the major progress made in understanding the mechanisms of invading DNA immunity by type I CRISPR-Cas and summarizes the practical applications of endogenous type I CRISPR-based toolkits for prokaryotic engineering.
Project description:The discovery and adaption of bacterial clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems has revolutionized the way researchers edit genomes. Engineering of catalytically inactivated Cas variants (nuclease-deficient or nuclease-deactivated [dCas]) combined with transcriptional repressors, activators, or epigenetic modifiers enable sequence-specific regulation of gene expression and chromatin state. These CRISPR-Cas-based technologies have contributed to the rapid development of disease models and functional genomics screening approaches, which can facilitate genetic target identification and drug discovery. In this short review, we will cover recent advances of CRISPR-dCas9 systems and their use for transcriptional repression and activation, epigenome editing, and engineered synthetic circuits for complex control of the mammalian genome.
Project description:The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas (CRISPR-associated cas) systems constitute the adaptive immune system in prokaryotes, which provides resistance against bacteriophages and invasive genetic elements. The landscape of applications in bacteria and eukaryotes relies on a few Cas effector proteins that have been characterized in detail. However, there is a lack of comprehensive studies on naturally occurring CRISPR-Cas systems in beneficial bacteria, such as human gut commensal Bifidobacterium species. In this study, we mined 954 publicly available Bifidobacterium genomes and identified CRIPSR-Cas systems in 57% of these strains. A total of five CRISPR-Cas subtypes were identified as follows: Type I-E, I-C, I-G, II-A, and II-C. Among the subtypes, Type I-C was the most abundant (23%). We further characterized the CRISPR RNA (crRNA), tracrRNA, and PAM sequences to provide a molecular basis for the development of new genome editing tools for a variety of applications. Moreover, we investigated the evolutionary history of certain Bifidobacterium strains through visualization of acquired spacer sequences and demonstrated how these hypervariable CRISPR regions can be used as genotyping markers. This extensive characterization will enable the repurposing of endogenous CRISPR-Cas systems in Bifidobacteria for genome engineering, transcriptional regulation, genotyping, and screening of rare variants.
Project description:The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-Cas systems, including dead Cas9 (dCas9), Cas9, and Cas12a, have revolutionized genome engineering in mammalian somatic cells. Although computational tools that assess the target sites of CRISPR-Cas systems are inevitably important for designing efficient guide RNAs (gRNAs), they exhibit generalization issues in selecting features and do not provide optimal results in a comprehensive manner. Here, we introduce a Comprehensive Guide Designer (CGD) for four different CRISPR systems, which utilizes the machine learning algorithm, Elastic Net Logistic Regression (ENLOR), to autonomously generalize the models. CGD contains specific models trained with public datasets generated by CRISPRi, CRISPRa, CRISPR-Cas9, and CRISPR-Cas12a (designated as CGDi, CGDa, CGD9, and CGD12a, respectively) in an unbiased manner. The trained CGD models were benchmarked to other regression-based machine learning models, such as ElasticNet Linear Regression (ENLR), Random Forest and Boruta (RFB), and Extreme Gradient Boosting (Xgboost) with inbuilt feature selection. Evaluation with independent test datasets showed that CGD models outperformed the pre-existing methods in predicting the efficacy of gRNAs. All CGD source codes and datasets are available at GitHub (https://github.com/vipinmenon1989/CGD), and the CGD webserver can be accessed at http://big.hanyang.ac.kr:2195/CGD.
Project description:Designer nucleases are versatile tools for genome modification and therapy development and have gained widespread accessibility with the advent of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) technology. Prokaryotic RNA-guided nucleases of CRISPR/Cas type, since first being adopted as editing tools in eukaryotic cells, have experienced rapid uptake and development. Diverse modes of delivery by viral and non-viral vectors and ongoing discovery and engineering of new CRISPR/Cas-type tools with alternative target site requirements, cleavage patterns and DNA- or RNA-specific action continue to expand the versatility of this family of nucleases. CRISPR/Cas-based molecules may also act without double-strand breaks as DNA base editors or even without single-stranded cleavage, be it as epigenetic regulators, transcription factors or RNA base editors, with further scope for discovery and development. For many potential therapeutic applications of CRISPR/Cas-type molecules and their derivatives, efficiencies still need to be improved and safety issues addressed, including those of preexisting immunity against Cas molecules, off-target activity and recombination and sequence alterations relating to double-strand-break events. This review gives a concise overview of current CRISPR/Cas tools, applications, concerns and trends.
Project description:Bacteriophages are pervasive viruses that infect bacteria, relying on their genetic machinery to replicate. In order to protect themselves from this kind of invader, bacteria developed an ingenious adaptive defence system, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR). Researchers soon realised that a specific type of CRISPR system, CRISPR-Cas9, could be modified into a simple and efficient genetic engineering technology, with several improvements over currently used systems. This discovery set in motion a revolution in genetics, with new and improved CRISPR systems being used in plenty of in vitro and in vivo experiments in recent years. This review illustrates the mechanisms behind CRISPR-Cas systems as a means of bacterial immunity against phage invasion and how these systems were engineered to originate new genetic manipulation tools. Newfound CRISPR-Cas technologies and the up-and-coming applications of these systems on healthcare and other fields of science are also discussed.
Project description:CRISPR-Cas systems defend prokaryotes against bacteriophages and mobile genetic elements and serve as the basis for revolutionary tools for genetic engineering. Class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems use single Cas endonucleases paired with guide RNAs to cleave complementary nucleic acid targets, enabling programmable sequence-specific targeting with minimal machinery. Recent discoveries of previously unidentified CRISPR-Cas systems have uncovered a deep reservoir of potential biotechnological tools beyond the well-characterized Type II Cas9 systems. Here we review the current mechanistic understanding of newly discovered single-protein Cas endonucleases. Comparison of these Cas effectors reveals substantial mechanistic diversity, underscoring the phylogenetic divergence of related CRISPR-Cas systems. This diversity has enabled further expansion of CRISPR-Cas biotechnological toolkits, with wide-ranging applications from genome editing to diagnostic tools based on various Cas endonuclease activities. These advances highlight the exciting prospects for future tools based on the continually expanding set of CRISPR-Cas systems.
Project description:Since their discovery over a decade ago, the class of prokaryotic immune systems known as CRISPR?Cas have afforded a suite of genetic tools that have revolutionized research in model organisms spanning all domains of life. CRISPR-mediated tools have also emerged for the natural targets of CRISPR?Cas immunity, the viruses that specifically infect bacteria, or phages. Despite their status as the most abundant biological entities on the planet, the majority of phage genes have unassigned functions. This reality underscores the need for robust genetic tools to study them. Recent reports have demonstrated that CRISPR?Cas systems, specifically the three major types (I, II, and III), can be harnessed to genetically engineer phages that infect diverse hosts. Here, the mechanisms of each of these systems, specific strategies used, and phage editing efficacies will be reviewed. Due to the relatively wide distribution of CRISPR?Cas systems across bacteria and archaea, it is anticipated that these immune systems will provide generally applicable tools that will advance the mechanistic understanding of prokaryotic viruses and accelerate the development of novel technologies based on these ubiquitous organisms.
Project description:The CRISPR-Cas system has become a cutting-edge technology that revolutionized genome engineering. The use of Cas9 nuclease is currently the method of choice in most tasks requiring a specific DNA modification. The rapid development in the field of CRISPR-Cas is reflected by the constantly expanding ecosystem of computational tools aimed at facilitating experimental design and result analysis. The first group of CRISPR-Cas-related tools that we review is dedicated to aid in guide RNA design by prediction of their efficiency and specificity. The second, relatively new group of tools exploits the observed biases in repair outcomes to predict the results of CRISPR-Cas edits. The third class of tools is developed to assist in the evaluation of the editing outcomes by analysis of the sequencing data. These utilities are accompanied by relevant repositories and databases. Here we present a comprehensive and updated overview of the currently available CRISPR-Cas-related tools, from the perspective of a user who needs a convenient and reliable means to facilitate genome editing experiments at every step, from the guide RNA design to analysis of editing outcomes. Moreover, we discuss the current limitations and challenges that the field must overcome for further improvement in the CRISPR-Cas endeavor.
Project description:The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas (CRISPR-associated proteins) is a prokaryotic adaptive immune system that is represented in most archaea and many bacteria. Among the currently known prokaryotic defense systems, the CRISPR-Cas genomic loci show unprecedented complexity and diversity. Classification of CRISPR-Cas variants that would capture their evolutionary relationships to the maximum possible extent is essential for comparative genomic and functional characterization of this theoretically and practically important system of adaptive immunity. To this end, a multipronged approach has been developed that combines phylogenetic analysis of the conserved Cas proteins with comparison of gene repertoires and arrangements in CRISPR-Cas loci. This approach led to the current classification of CRISPR-Cas systems into three distinct types and ten subtypes for each of which signature genes have been identified. Comparative genomic analysis of the CRISPR-Cas systems in new archaeal and bacterial genomes performed over the 3 years elapsed since the development of this classification makes it clear that new types and subtypes of CRISPR-Cas need to be introduced. Moreover, this classification system captures only part of the complexity of CRISPR-Cas organization and evolution, due to the intrinsic modularity and evolutionary mobility of these immunity systems, resulting in numerous recombinant variants. Moreover, most of the cas genes evolve rapidly, complicating the family assignment for many Cas proteins and the use of family profiles for the recognition of CRISPR-Cas subtype signatures. Further progress in the comparative analysis of CRISPR-Cas systems requires integration of the most sensitive sequence comparison tools, protein structure comparison, and refined approaches for comparison of gene neighborhoods.