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Yuchen Gao, Xin Xiong, Spencer Wong, Emeric J Charles, Wendell A Lim, Lei S Qi
The ability to dynamically manipulate the transcriptome is important for studying how gene networks direct cellular functions and how network perturbations cause disease. Nuclease-dead CRISPR-dCas9 transcriptional regulators, while offering an approach for controlling individual gene expression, remain incapable of dynamically coordinating complex transcriptional events. Here, we describe a flexible dCas9-based platform for chemical-inducible complex gene regulation. From a screen of chemical- and light-inducible dimerization systems, we identified two potent chemical inducers that mediate efficient gene activation and repression in mammalian cells...
October 24, 2016: Nature Methods
Yunqing Ma, Jiayuan Zhang, Weijie Yin, Zhenchao Zhang, Yan Song, Xing Chang
A large number of genetic variants have been associated with human diseases. However, the lack of a genetic diversification approach has impeded our ability to interrogate functions of genetic variants in mammalian cells. Current screening methods can only be used to disrupt a gene or alter its expression. Here we report the fusion of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) with nuclease-inactive clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated protein 9 (dCas9) for efficient genetic diversification, which enabled high-throughput screening of functional variants...
October 10, 2016: Nature Methods
Yihao Zhang, Long Qian, Weijia Wei, Yu Wang, Beining Wang, Pingping Lin, Wenchao Liu, Luze Xu, Xiang Li, Dongming Liu, Sida Cheng, Jiaofeng Li, Yixuan Ye, Hang Li, Xiaohan Zhang, Yiming Dong, Xuejin Zhao, Cuihua Liu, Haoqian M Zhang, Qi Ouyang, Chunbo Lou
We developed an in vitro DNA detection system using a pair of dCas9 proteins linked to split halves of luciferase. Luminescence was induced upon co-localization of the reporter pair to a ~44 bp target sequence defined by sgRNAs. We used the system to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA with high specificity and sensitivity. The re-programmability of dCas9 was further leveraged in an array design that accesses sequence information across the entire genome.
October 10, 2016: ACS Synthetic Biology
Tetsushi Sakuma, Takuya Sakamoto, Takashi Yamamoto
CRISPR-Cas9 enables highly convenient multiplex genome engineering in cultured cells, because it utilizes generic Cas9 nuclease and an easily customizable single-guide RNA (sgRNA) for site-specific DNA double-strand break induction. We previously established a multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 assembly system for constructing an all-in-one vector simultaneously expressing multiple sgRNAs and Cas9 nuclease or other Cas9 variants including FokI-dCas9, which supersedes the wild-type Cas9 with regard to high specificity. In this chapter, we describe a streamlined protocol to design and construct multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 or FokI-dCas9 vectors, to introduce them into cultured cells by lipofection or electroporation, to enrich the genomically edited cells with a transient puromycin selection, to validate the mutation efficiency by Surveyor nuclease assay, and to perform off-target analyses...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Dacheng Ma, Shuguang Peng, Zhen Xie
Programmable and precise regulation of dCas9 functions in response to multiple molecular signals by using synthetic gene circuits will expand the application of the CRISPR-Cas technology. However, the application of CRISPR-Cas therapeutic circuits is still challenging due to the restrictive cargo size of existing viral delivery vehicles. Here, we construct logic AND circuits by integrating multiple split dCas9 domains, which is useful to reduce the size of synthetic circuits. In addition, we engineer sensory switches by exchanging split dCas9 domains, allowing differential regulations on one gene, or activating two different genes in response to cell-type specific microRNAs...
October 3, 2016: Nature Communications
Ashish Goyal, Ksenia Myacheva, Matthias Groß, Marcel Klingenberg, Berta Duran Arqué, Sven Diederichs
The CRISPR/Cas9 system provides a revolutionary genome editing tool for all areas of molecular biology. In long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) research, the Cas9 nuclease can delete lncRNA genes or introduce RNA-destabilizing elements into their locus. The nuclease-deficient dCas9 mutant retains its RNA-dependent DNA-binding activity and can modulate gene expression when fused to transcriptional repressor or activator domains. Here, we systematically analyze whether CRISPR approaches are suitable to target lncRNAs...
September 30, 2016: Nucleic Acids Research
Elisabeth Schmidtmann, Tobias Anton, Pascaline Rombaut, Franz Herzog, Heinrich Leonhardt
Chromatin structure and function are determined by a plethora of proteins whose genome-wide distribution is typically assessed by immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Here, we developed a novel tool to investigate the local chromatin environment at specific DNA sequences. We combined the programmable DNA binding of dCas9 with the promiscuous biotin ligase BirA* (CasID) to biotinylate proteins in the direct vicinity of specific loci. Subsequent streptavidin-mediated precipitation and mass spectrometry identified both known and previously unknown chromatin factors associated with repetitive telomeric, major satellite and minor satellite DNA...
September 27, 2016: Nucleus
X Shawn Liu, Hao Wu, Xiong Ji, Yonatan Stelzer, Xuebing Wu, Szymon Czauderna, Jian Shu, Daniel Dadon, Richard A Young, Rudolf Jaenisch
Mammalian DNA methylation is a critical epigenetic mechanism orchestrating gene expression networks in many biological processes. However, investigation of the functions of specific methylation events remains challenging. Here, we demonstrate that fusion of Tet1 or Dnmt3a with a catalytically inactive Cas9 (dCas9) enables targeted DNA methylation editing. Targeting of the dCas9-Tet1 or -Dnmt3a fusion protein to methylated or unmethylated promoter sequences caused activation or silencing, respectively, of an endogenous reporter...
September 22, 2016: Cell
Sumiyo Morita, Hirofumi Noguchi, Takuro Horii, Kazuhiko Nakabayashi, Mika Kimura, Kohji Okamura, Atsuhiko Sakai, Hideyuki Nakashima, Kenichiro Hata, Kinichi Nakashima, Izuho Hatada
Despite the importance of DNA methylation in health and disease, technologies to readily manipulate methylation of specific sequences for functional analysis and therapeutic purposes are lacking. Here we adapt the previously described dCas9-SunTag for efficient, targeted demethylation of specific DNA loci. The original SunTag consists of ten copies of the GCN4 peptide separated by 5-amino-acid linkers. To achieve efficient recruitment of an anti-GCN4 scFv fused to the ten-eleven (TET) 1 hydroxylase, which induces demethylation, we changed the linker length to 22 amino acids...
October 2016: Nature Biotechnology
Heng Zhao, Yingjie Sun, Jason M Peters, Carol A Gross, Ethan C Garner, John D Helmann
: The integrity of the bacterial cell envelope is essential to sustain life by countering the high turgor pressure of the cell and providing a barrier against chemical insults. In Bacillus subtilis, synthesis of both peptidoglycan and wall teichoic acids requires a common C55 lipid carrier, undecaprenyl-pyrophosphate (UPP), to ferry precursors across the cytoplasmic membrane. The synthesis and recycling of UPP requires a phosphatase to generate the monophosphate form Und-P, which is the substrate for peptidoglycan and wall teichoic acid synthases...
November 1, 2016: Journal of Bacteriology
Benjamin Garcia-Bloj, Colette Moses, Agustin Sgro, Janice Plani-Lam, Mahira Arooj, Ciara Duffy, Shreyas Thiruvengadam, Anabel Sorolla, Rabab Rashwan, Ricardo L Mancera, Andrea Leisewitz, Theresa Swift-Scanlan, Alejandro H Corvalan, Pilar Blancafort
The aberrant epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) plays a major role during carcinogenesis and regaining these dormant functions by engineering of sequence-specific epigenome editing tools offers a unique opportunity for targeted therapies. However, effectively normalizing the expression and regaining tumor suppressive functions of silenced TSGs by artificial transcription factors (ATFs) still remains a major challenge. Herein we describe novel combinatorial strategies for the potent reactivation of two class II TSGs, MASPIN and REPRIMO, in cell lines with varying epigenetic states, using the CRISPR/dCas9 associated system linked to a panel of effector domains (VP64, p300, VPR and SAM complex), as well as with protein-based ATFs, Zinc Fingers and TALEs...
August 9, 2016: Oncotarget
Brian Chaikind, Jeffrey L Bessen, David B Thompson, Johnny H Hu, David R Liu
We describe the development of 'recCas9', an RNA-programmed small serine recombinase that functions in mammalian cells. We fused a catalytically inactive dCas9 to the catalytic domain of Gin recombinase using an optimized fusion architecture. The resulting recCas9 system recombines DNA sites containing a minimal recombinase core site flanked by guide RNA-specified sequences. We show that these recombinases can operate on DNA sites in mammalian cells identical to genomic loci naturally found in the human genome in a manner that is dependent on the guide RNA sequences...
August 11, 2016: Nucleic Acids Research
Xingxing Xu, Yonghui Tao, Xiaobo Gao, Lei Zhang, Xufang Li, Weiguo Zou, Kangcheng Ruan, Feng Wang, Guo-Liang Xu, Ronggui Hu
In mammalian cells, DNA methylation critically regulates gene expression and thus has pivotal roles in myriad of physiological and pathological processes. Here we report a novel method for targeted DNA demethylation using the widely used clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas system. Initially, modified single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) (sgRNA2.0) were constructed by inserting two copies of bacteriophage MS2 RNA elements into the conventional sgRNAs, which would facilitate the tethering of the Tet1 catalytic domain (Tet-CD), in fusion with dCas9 or MS2 coat proteins, to the targeted gene loci...
2016: Cell Discovery
Masaki Hosogane, Ryo Funayama, Matsuyuki Shirota, Keiko Nakayama
Trimethylated H3K27 (H3K27me3) is associated with transcriptional repression, and its abundance in chromatin is frequently altered in cancer. However, it has remained unclear how genomic regions modified by H3K27me3 are specified and formed. We previously showed that downregulation of transcription by oncogenic Ras signaling precedes upregulation of H3K27me3 level. Here, we show that lack of transcription as a result of deletion of the transcription start site of a gene is sufficient to increase H3K27me3 content in the gene body...
July 19, 2016: Cell Reports
Nan Hao, Adam C Palmer, Alexandra Ahlgren-Berg, Keith E Shearwin, Ian B Dodd
Transcriptional interference (TI), where transcription from a promoter is inhibited by the activity of other promoters in its vicinity on the same DNA, enables transcription factors to regulate a target promoter indirectly, inducing or relieving TI by controlling the interfering promoter. For convergent promoters, stochastic simulations indicate that relief of TI can be inhibited if the repressor at the interfering promoter has slow binding kinetics, making it either sensitive to frequent dislodgement by elongating RNA polymerases (RNAPs) from the target promoter, or able to be a strong roadblock to these RNAPs...
August 19, 2016: Nucleic Acids Research
Samrat Roy Choudhury, Yi Cui, Katarzyna Lubecka, Barbara Stefanska, Joseph Irudayaraj
DNA hypermethylation at the promoter of tumour-suppressor genes is tightly correlated with their transcriptional repression and recognized as the hallmark of majority of cancers. Epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor genes impairs their cellular functions and activates a cascade of events driving cell transformation and cancer progression. Here, we examine site-specific and spatiotemporal alteration in DNA methylation at a target region in BRCA1 gene promoter, a model tumour suppressor gene. We have developed a programmable CRISPR-Cas9 based demethylase tool containing the deactivated Cas9 (dCas9) fused to the catalytic domain (CD) of Ten-Eleven Translocation (TET) dioxygenase1 (TET1CD)...
June 23, 2016: Oncotarget
Aliaksandra Radzisheuskaya, Daria Shlyueva, Iris Müller, Kristian Helin
CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) represents a newly developed tool for targeted gene repression. It has great application potential for studying gene function and mapping gene regulatory elements. However, the optimal parameters for efficient single guide RNA (sgRNA) design for CRISPRi are not fully defined. In this study, we systematically assessed how sgRNA position affects the efficiency of CRISPRi in human cells. We analyzed 155 sgRNAs targeting 41 genes and found that CRISPRi efficiency relies heavily on the precise recruitment of the effector complex to the target gene transcription start site (TSS)...
June 28, 2016: Nucleic Acids Research
Tina Lebar, Roman Jerala
Transcriptional activator-like effector (TALE)- and CRISPR/Cas9-based designable recognition domains represent a technological breakthrough not only for genome editing but also for building designed genetic circuits. Both platforms are able to target rarely occurring DNA segments, even within complex genomes. TALE and dCas9 domains, genetically fused to transcriptional regulatory domains, can be used for the construction of engineered logic circuits. Here we benchmarked the performance of the two platforms, targeting the same DNA sequences, to compare their advantages for the construction of designed circuits in mammalian cells...
October 21, 2016: ACS Synthetic Biology
Christian J Braun, Peter M Bruno, Max A Horlbeck, Luke A Gilbert, Jonathan S Weissman, Michael T Hemann
Targeted transcriptional regulation is a powerful tool to study genetic mediators of cellular behavior. Here, we show that catalytically dead Cas9 (dCas9) targeted to genomic regions upstream or downstream of the transcription start site allows for specific and sustainable gene-expression level alterations in tumor cells in vitro and in syngeneic immune-competent mouse models. We used this approach for a high-coverage pooled gene-activation screen in vivo and discovered previously unidentified modulators of tumor growth and therapeutic response...
July 5, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Alexander P Hynes, Marie-Laurence Lemay, Sylvain Moineau
Key components of CRISPR-Cas systems have been adapted into a powerful genome-editing tool that has caught the headlines and the attention of the public. Canonically, a customized RNA serves to guide an endonuclease (e.g. Cas9) to its DNA target, resulting in precise genomic lesions that can be repaired in a personalized fashion by cellular machinery. Here, we turn to the microbes that are the source of this system to explore many of its other notable applications. These include mining the CRISPR 'memory' arrays for functional genomic data, generation of customized virus-resistant or plasmid-refractory bacterial cells, editing of previously intractable viral genomes, and exploiting the unique properties of a catalytically inactive Cas9, dCas9, to serve as a highly customizable anti-nucleic acid 'antibody'...
June 6, 2016: Current Opinion in Chemical Biology
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