Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NC State Researchers Advance Genome Editing Technique

22.10.2014

Customized genome editing – the ability to edit desired DNA sequences to add, delete, activate or suppress specific genes – has major potential for application in medicine, biotechnology, food and agriculture.

Now, in a paper published in Molecular Cell, North Carolina State University researchers and colleagues examine six key molecular elements that help drive this genome editing system, which is known as CRISPR-Cas.


A new paper in Molecular Cell advances knowledge underpinning an important gene cut-and-replace system called CRISPR-Cas.

NC State’s Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, an associate professor of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, and Dr. Chase Beisel, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, use CRISPR-Cas to take aim at certain DNA sequences in bacteria and in human cells.

CRISPR stands for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” and Cas is a family of genes and corresponding proteins associated with the CRISPR system that specifically target and cut DNA in a sequence-dependent manner.

Essentially, the authors say, bacteria use the system as a defense mechanism and immune system against unwanted invaders such as viruses. Now that same system is being harnessed by researchers to quickly and more precisely target certain genes for editing.

“This paper sheds light on how CRISPR-Cas works,” Barrangou said. “If we liken this system to a puzzle, this paper shows what some of the system’s pieces are and how they interlock with one another. More importantly, we find which pieces are important structurally or functionally – and which ones are not.”

The CRISPR-Cas system is spreading like wildfire among researchers across the globe who are searching for new ways to manipulate genes. Barrangou says that the paper’s findings will allow researchers to increase the specificity and efficiency in targeting DNA, setting the stage for more precise genetic modifications.

The work by Barrangou and Beisel holds promise in manipulating relevant bacteria for use in food – think of safer and more effective probiotics for your yogurt, for example – and in model organisms used in agriculture, including gene editing in crops to make them less susceptible to disease.

The collaborative effort with Caribou Biosciences, a start-up biotechnology company in California, illustrates the focus of these two NC State laboratories on bridging the gap between industry and academia, and the commercial potential of CRISPR technologies, the researchers say.

- kulikowski -

Note: An abstract of the paper follows.

“Guide RNA Functional Modules Direct Cas9 Activity and Orthogonality”

Authors: Alexandra E. Briner, Kurt Selle, Chase L. Beisel and Rodolphe Barrangou, North Carolina State University; Paul D. Donohoue, Euan M. Slorach, Christopher H. Nye, Rachel E. Haurwitz, and Andrew P. May, Caribou Biosciences Inc.; Ahmed A. Gomaa, University of Cairo

Published: Oct. 16, 2014, online in Molecular Cell

DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.09.019

Abstract: The RNA-guided Cas9 endonuclease specifically targets and cleaves DNA in a sequence-dependent manner and has been widely used for programmable genome editing. Cas9 activity is dependent on interactions with guide RNAs, and evolutionarily divergent Cas9 nucleases have been shown to work orthogonally. However, the molecular basis of selective Cas9:guide-RNA interactions is poorly understood. Here, we identify and characterize six conserved modules within native crRNA:tracrRNA duplexes and single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) that direct Cas9 endonuclease activity. We show the bulge and nexus are necessary for DNA cleavage and demonstrate that the nexus and hairpins are instrumental in defining orthogonality between systems. In contrast, the crRNA:tracrRNA complementary region can be modified or partially removed. Collectively, our results establish guide RNA features that drive DNA targeting by Cas9 and open new design and engineering avenues for CRISPR technologies.

Mick Kulikowski | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://news.ncsu.edu/2014/10/nc-state-researchers-advance-genome-editing-technique/

Further reports about: BioSciences CRISPR Cas9 Cell DNA Genome Molecular Molecular Cell RNA RNAs activity bacteria genes pieces technologies

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>