Alternative CRISPR Targeting Method

  • Author: ChemistryViews.org
  • Published: 28 May 2017
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Nature Communications/Nature Publishing Group and Merck KGaA
  • Associated Suppliers: Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
thumbnail image: Alternative CRISPR Targeting Method

Merck has developed a new genome editing tool that makes CRISPR/Cas systems more flexible, giving researchers more experimental options and faster results that can accelerate drug development and access to new therapies. CRISPR/Cas enables genome editing using an enzyme called Cas9 to cut DNA, but this has limited targeting abilities. The applications of CRISPR/Cas are far ranging—from identifying genes associated with cancer to possibly reversing mutations that cause diseases.


The new technique, called "proxy-CRISPR", provides access to previously unreachable areas of the genome. Most natural CRISPR/Cas systems found in bacteria cannot work in human cells without significant re-engineering. The endonuclease FnCas9 from Francisella novicida bacteria, for example, is usually inhibited for many places in the genome of living human cells, but has potentially useful properties different from other endocleases.


FnCas9 can be activated in a targeted manner by binding it to a different, inactive Cas9 enzyme that binds at proximal sites in the genome and allows the FnCas9 to access sites it usually would not be able to reach. The same proxy-CRISPR strategy is applicable to other CRISPR/Cas systems.


Proxy-CRISPR provides a simple method to increase the usability of CRISPR/Cas systems without the laborious need to re-engineer native CRISPR proteins. Merck has filed several patent applications on the proxy-CRISPR technology. The new technology is a follow-up to the company's existing CRISPR applications. Its next suite of genome editing tools, to be launched later in 2017, will include novel and modified versions of Cas and Cas-like proteins.


 

Article Views: 563

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more


CONNECT:

ChemistryViews.org on Facebook

ChemistryViews.org on Twitter ChemistryViews.org on YouTube ChemistryViews.org on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter


A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH