CRISPR/Cas-9 mediated knock-in by homology dependent repair in the West Nile Virus vector Culex quinquefasciatus Say.
ABSTRACT: Culex quinquefasciatus Say is a mosquito distributed in both tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is a night-active, opportunistic blood-feeder and vectors many animal and human diseases, including West Nile Virus and avian malaria. Current vector control methods (e.g. physical/chemical) are increasingly ineffective; use of insecticides also imposes hazards to both human and ecosystem health. Advances in genome editing have allowed the development of genetic insect control methods, which are species-specific and, theoretically, highly effective. CRISPR/Cas9 is a bacteria-derived programmable gene editing tool that is functional in a range of species. We describe the first successful germline gene knock-in by homology dependent repair in C. quinquefasciatus. Using CRISPR/Cas9, we integrated an sgRNA expression cassette and marker gene encoding a fluorescent protein fluorophore (Hr5/IE1-DsRed, Cq7SK-sgRNA) into the kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (kmo) gene. We achieved a minimum transformation rate of 2.8%, similar to rates in other mosquito species. Precise knock-in at the intended locus was confirmed. Insertion homozygotes displayed a white eye phenotype in early-mid larvae and a recessive lethal phenotype by pupation. This work provides an efficient method for engineering C. quinquefasciatus, providing a new tool for developing genetic control tools for this vector.
Project description:CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing methods are being used for the analysis of gene function. However, it is hard to identify gene knockout mutants for genes whose knockout does not cause distinct phenotypes. To overcome this issue in the disease vector, <i>Aedes aegypti</i>, a transgenic Cas9/single guide RNA (sgRNA) method, was used to knock out the eye marker gene, <i>kynurenine 3-monooxygenase</i> (<i>kmo</i>), and the juvenile hormone receptor, <i>Methoprene-tolerant</i> (<i>Met</i>). PiggyBac transformation vectors were prepared to express sgRNAs targeting <i>kmo</i> and <i>Met</i> under the control of the U6 promoter. Transgenic <i>Ae. aegypti</i> expressing <i>kmo</i>-sgRNA or <i>Met</i>-sgRNA under the control of the U6 promoter and enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) under the control of the hr5ie1 promoter were produced. The U6-sgRNA adults were mated with AAEL010097-Cas9 adults. The progeny were screened, and the insects expressing eGFP and DsRed were selected and evaluated for mutations in target genes. About 77% and 78% of the progeny that were positive for both eGFP and DsRed in <i>kmo</i>-sgRNA and <i>Met</i>-sgRNA groups, respectively, showed mutations in their target genes.
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:The CRISPR/Cas9 system has revolutionized genome editing in virtually all organisms. Although the CRISPR/Cas9 system enables the targeted cleavage of genomic DNA, its use for gene knock-in remains challenging because levels of homologous recombination activity vary among various cells. In contrast, the efficiency of homology-independent DNA repair is relatively high in most cell types. Therefore the use of a homology-independent repair mechanism is a possible alternative for efficient genome editing. Here we constructed a donor knock-in vector optimized for the CRISPR/Cas9 system and developed a practical system that enables efficient disruption of target genes by exploiting homology-independent repair. Using this practical knock-in system, we successfully disrupted genes encoding proteins involved in ciliary protein trafficking, including IFT88 and IFT20, in hTERT-RPE1 cells, which have low homologous recombination activity. The most critical concern using the CRISPR/Cas9 system is off-target cleavage. To reduce the off-target cleavage frequency and increase the versatility of our knock-in system, we constructed a universal donor vector and an expression vector containing Cas9 with enhanced specificity and tandem sgRNA expression cassettes. We demonstrated that the second version of our system has improved usability.
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: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.
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:Clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas system is an efficient targeted genome editing method. Although CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis has been applied successfully in grape, few studies have examined the technique's efficiency. To optimize CRISPR/Cas9 editing efficiency in Vitis vinifera, we surveyed three key parameters: GC content of single guide RNA (sgRNA), variety of transformant cells used, and SpCas9 expression levels in transgenic cell mass. Four sgRNAs with differing GC content were designed to target exon sites of the V. vinifera phytoene desaturase gene. Suspension cells of 'Chardonnay' and '41B' varieties were used as the transgenic cell mass. Both T7EI and PCR/RE assays showed that CRISPR/Cas9 editing efficiency increases proportionally with sgRNA GC content with 65% GC content yielding highest editing efficiency in both varieties. Additionally, gene editing was more efficient in '41B' than in 'Chardonnay.' CRISPR/Cas9 systems with different editing efficiency showed different SpCas9 expression level, but compared with GC content of sgRNA, SpCas9 expression level has less influence on editing efficiency. Taken together, these results help optimize of CRISPR/Cas9 performance in grape.
Project description:Recently the developed single guide (sg)RNA-guided clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/associated protein 9 nuclease (CRISPR/Cas9) technology has opened a new avenue for antiviral therapy. The CRISPR/Cas9 system uniquely allows targeting of multiple genome sites simultaneously. However, there are relatively few applications of CRISPR/Cas9 multigene editing to target insect viruses. To address the need for sustained delivery of a multiplex CRISPR/Cas9-based genome-editing vehicle against insect viruses, we developed a one-vector (pSL1180-Cas9-U6-sgRNA) system that expresses multiple sgRNA and Cas9 protein to excise Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) in insect cells. We screened the immediate-early-1 gene (ie-1), the major envelope glycoprotein gene (gp64), and the late expression factor gene (lef-11), and identified multiple sgRNA editing sites through flow cytometry and viral DNA replication analysis. In addition, we constructed a multiplex editing vector (PSL1180-Cas9-sgIE1-sgLEF11-sgGP64, sgMultiple) to efficiently regulate multiplex gene-editing and inhibit BmNPV replication after viral infection. This is the first report of the application of a multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 system to inhibit insect virus replication. This multiplex system can significantly enhance the potential of CRISPR/Cas9-based multiplex genome engineering in insect virus.
Project description:Recently-emerging genome editing technologies have enabled targeted gene knockout experiments even in non-model insect species. For studies on insecticide resistance, genome editing technologies offer some advantages over the conventional reverse genetic technique, RNA interference, for testing causal relationships between genes of detoxifying enzymes and resistance phenotypes. There were relatively abundant evidences indicating that the overexpression of a cytochrome P450 gene CYP9M10 confers strong pyrethroid resistance in larvae of the southern house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. However, reverse genetic verification has not yet been obtained because of the technical difficulty of microinjection into larvae. Here, we tested two genome editing technologies, transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN)s and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/Cas9), to disrupt CYP9M10 in a resistant strain of C. quinquefasciatus. Additionally, we developed a novel, effective approach to construct a TALE using the chemical cleavage of phosphorothioate inter-nucleotide linkages in the level 1 assembly. Both TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 induced frame-shifting mutations in one or all copies of CYP9M10 in a pyrethroid-resistant strain. A line fixed with a completely disrupted CYP9M10 haplotype showed more than 100-fold reduction in pyrethroid resistance in the larval stage.