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      Genome-wide analysis reveals characteristics of off-target sites bound by the Cas9 endonuclease

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          Abstract

          RNA-guided genome editing with the CRISPR-Cas9 system has great potential for basic and clinical research, but the determinants of targeting specificity and the extent of off-target cleavage remain insufficiently understood. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation and high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq), we mapped genome-wide binding sites of catalytically inactive Cas9 (dCas9) in HEK293T cells, in combination with 12 different single guide RNAs (sgRNAs). The number of off-target sites bound by dCas9 varied from ∼10 to >1,000 depending on the sgRNA. Analysis of off-target binding sites showed the importance of the PAM-proximal region of the sgRNA guiding sequence and that dCas9 binding sites are enriched in open chromatin regions. When targeted with catalytically active Cas9, some off-target binding sites had indels above background levels in a region around the ChIP-seq peak, but generally at lower rates than the on-target sites. Our results elucidate major determinants of Cas9 targeting, and we show that ChIP-seq allows unbiased detection of Cas9 binding sites genome-wide.

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          Efficient In Vivo Genome Editing Using RNA-Guided Nucleases

          Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems have evolved in bacteria and archaea as a defense mechanism to silence foreign nucleic acids of viruses and plasmids. Recent work has shown that bacterial type II CRISPR systems can be adapted to create guide RNAs (gRNAs) capable of directing site-specific DNA cleavage by the Cas9 nuclease in vitro. Here we show that this system can function in vivo to induce targeted genetic modifications in zebrafish embryos with efficiencies comparable to those obtained using ZFNs and TALENs for the same genes. RNA-guided nucleases robustly enabled genome editing at 9 of 11 different sites tested, including two for which TALENs previously failed to induce alterations. These results demonstrate that programmable CRISPR/Cas systems provide a simple, rapid, and highly scalable method for altering genes in vivo, opening the door to using RNA-guided nucleases for genome editing in a wide range of organisms.
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            Genome-wide recessive genetic screening in mammalian cells with a lentiviral CRISPR-guide RNA library.

            Identification of genes influencing a phenotype of interest is frequently achieved through genetic screening by RNA interference (RNAi) or knockouts. However, RNAi may only achieve partial depletion of gene activity, and knockout-based screens are difficult in diploid mammalian cells. Here we took advantage of the efficiency and high throughput of genome editing based on type II, clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems to introduce genome-wide targeted mutations in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We designed 87,897 guide RNAs (gRNAs) targeting 19,150 mouse protein-coding genes and used a lentiviral vector to express these gRNAs in ESCs that constitutively express Cas9. Screening the resulting ESC mutant libraries for resistance to either Clostridium septicum alpha-toxin or 6-thioguanine identified 27 known and 4 previously unknown genes implicated in these phenotypes. Our results demonstrate the potential for efficient loss-of-function screening using the CRISPR-Cas9 system.
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              Genome-wide mapping of DNase hypersensitive sites using massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS).

              A major goal in genomics is to understand how genes are regulated in different tissues, stages of development, diseases, and species. Mapping DNase I hypersensitive (HS) sites within nuclear chromatin is a powerful and well-established method of identifying many different types of regulatory elements, but in the past it has been limited to analysis of single loci. We have recently described a protocol to generate a genome-wide library of DNase HS sites. Here, we report high-throughput analysis, using massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS), of 230,000 tags from a DNase library generated from quiescent human CD4+ T cells. Of the tags that uniquely map to the genome, we identified 14,190 clusters of sequences that group within close proximity to each other. By using a real-time PCR strategy, we determined that the majority of these clusters represent valid DNase HS sites. Approximately 80% of these DNase HS sites uniquely map within one or more annotated regions of the genome believed to contain regulatory elements, including regions 2 kb upstream of genes, CpG islands, and highly conserved sequences. Most DNase HS sites identified in CD4+ T cells are also HS in CD8+ T cells, B cells, hepatocytes, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and HeLa cells. However, approximately 10% of the DNase HS sites are lymphocyte specific, indicating that this procedure can identify gene regulatory elements that control cell type specificity. This strategy, which can be applied to any cell line or tissue, will enable a better understanding of how chromatin structure dictates cell function and fate.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Biotechnology
                Nat Biotechnol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1087-0156
                1546-1696
                July 2014
                May 18 2014
                July 2014
                : 32
                : 7
                : 677-683
                Article
                10.1038/nbt.2916
                24837660
                3bb3fb75-fe07-47b5-a781-bbca43f969b2
                © 2014

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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