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      Chemically modified guide RNAs enhance CRISPR-Cas genome editing in human primary cells

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          Abstract

          CRISPR-Cas-mediated genome editing relies on guide RNAs that direct site-specific DNA cleavage facilitated by the Cas endonuclease. Here we report that chemical alterations to synthesized single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) enhance genome editing efficiency in human primary T cells and CD34(+) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Co-delivering chemically modified sgRNAs with Cas9 mRNA or protein is an efficient RNA- or ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-based delivery method for the CRISPR-Cas system, without the toxicity associated with DNA delivery. This approach is a simple and effective way to streamline the development of genome editing with the potential to accelerate a wide array of biotechnological and therapeutic applications of the CRISPR-Cas technology.

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          Phosphorothioates, essential components of therapeutic oligonucleotides.

          Phosphorothioates have found their usefulness in the general area of oligonucleotide therapeutic applications. Initially this modification was introduced into the antisense methodology because of the nuclease resistance of the phosphorothioate linkage in comparison with that of the phosphate linkage. However, as experimental data accumulated, it was detected that this chemical modification also facilitates cellular uptake and bioavailibity in vivo. Thus, today the majority of therapeutic oligonucleotides contain this modification. This review will discuss the historical development of this modification and present some of its chemical properties where they differ from those of the phosphate group. The antisense application will be discussed in the original context with cleavage of the target mRNA, but other target RNAs such as microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs will also be covered. It continues with applications where the target RNA should not be cleaved. A brief presentation of decoy oligonucleotides will be included, as well as some miscellaneous applications. Cellular uptake is a crucial step for oligonucleotides to reach their target and will be briefly reviewed. Lastly, a most surprising recent observation is the presence of phosphorothioate groups in bacterial DNA where functions still remain to be fully determined.
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            Designing chemically modified oligonucleotides for targeted gene silencing.

            Oligonucleotides (ONs), and their chemically modified mimics, are now routinely used in the laboratory as a means to control the expression of fundamentally interesting or therapeutically relevant genes. ONs are also under active investigation in the clinic, with many expressing cautious optimism that at least some ON-based therapies will succeed in the coming years. In this review, we will discuss several classes of ONs used for controlling gene expression, with an emphasis on antisense ONs (AONs), small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and microRNA-targeting ONs (anti-miRNAs). This review provides a current and detailed account of ON chemical modification strategies for the optimization of biological activity and therapeutic application, while clarifying the biological pathways, chemical properties, benefits, and limitations of oligonucleotide analogs used in nucleic acids research. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Site-specific integration and tailoring of cassette design for sustainable gene transfer.

              Integrative gene transfer methods are limited by variable transgene expression and by the consequences of random insertional mutagenesis that confound interpretation in gene-function studies and may cause adverse events in gene therapy. Site-specific integration may overcome these hurdles. Toward this goal, we studied the transcriptional and epigenetic impact of different transgene expression cassettes, targeted by engineered zinc-finger nucleases to the CCR5 and AAVS1 genomic loci of human cells. Analyses performed before and after integration defined features of the locus and cassette design that together allow robust transgene expression without detectable transcriptional perturbation of the targeted locus and its flanking genes in many cell types, including primary human lymphocytes. We thus provide a framework for sustainable gene transfer in AAVS1 that can be used for dependable genetic manipulation, neutral marking of the cell and improved safety of therapeutic applications, and demonstrate its feasibility by rapidly generating human lymphocytes and stem cells carrying targeted and benign transgene insertions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Biotechnology
                Nat Biotechnol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1087-0156
                1546-1696
                September 2015
                September 1 2015
                September 2015
                : 33
                : 9
                : 985-989
                Article
                10.1038/nbt.3290
                26121415
                4bf035e4-3751-4cce-ad77-7b9acfba9231
                © 2015

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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