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      RNA-Guided Human Genome Engineering via Cas9

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      Science

      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Abstract

          Bacteria and archaea have evolved adaptive immune defenses, termed clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems, that use short RNA to direct degradation of foreign nucleic acids. Here, we engineer the type II bacterial CRISPR system to function with custom guide RNA (gRNA) in human cells. For the endogenous AAVS1 locus, we obtained targeting rates of 10 to 25% in 293T cells, 13 to 8% in K562 cells, and 2 to 4% in induced pluripotent stem cells. We show that this process relies on CRISPR components; is sequence-specific; and, upon simultaneous introduction of multiple gRNAs, can effect multiplex editing of target loci. We also compute a genome-wide resource of ~190 K unique gRNAs targeting ~40.5% of human exons. Our results establish an RNA-guided editing tool for facile, robust, and multiplexable human genome engineering.

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          Phage response to CRISPR-encoded resistance in Streptococcus thermophilus.

          Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated genes are linked to a mechanism of acquired resistance against bacteriophages. Bacteria can integrate short stretches of phage-derived sequences (spacers) within CRISPR loci to become phage resistant. In this study, we further characterized the efficiency of CRISPR1 as a phage resistance mechanism in Streptococcus thermophilus. First, we show that CRISPR1 is distinct from previously known phage defense systems and is effective against the two main groups of S. thermophilus phages. Analyses of 30 bacteriophage-insensitive mutants of S. thermophilus indicate that the addition of one new spacer in CRISPR1 is the most frequent outcome of a phage challenge and that the iterative addition of spacers increases the overall phage resistance of the host. The added new spacers have a size of between 29 to 31 nucleotides, with 30 being by far the most frequent. Comparative analysis of 39 newly acquired spacers with the complete genomic sequences of the wild-type phages 2972, 858, and DT1 demonstrated that the newly added spacer must be identical to a region (named proto-spacer) in the phage genome to confer a phage resistance phenotype. Moreover, we found a CRISPR1-specific sequence (NNAGAAW) located downstream of the proto-spacer region that is important for the phage resistance phenotype. Finally, we show through the analyses of 20 mutant phages that virulent phages are rapidly evolving through single nucleotide mutations as well as deletions, in response to CRISPR1.
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            Synthetic biology: applications come of age

            Key Points Early synthetic biology designs, namely the genetic toggle switch and repressilator, showed that regulatory components can be characterized and assembled to bring about complex, electronics-inspired behaviours in living systems (for example, memory storage and timekeeping). Through the characterization and assembly of genetic parts and biological building blocks, many more devices have been constructed, including switches, memory elements, oscillators, pulse generators, digital logic gates, filters and communication modules. Advances in the field are now allowing expansion beyond small gene networks to the realm of larger biological programs, which hold promise for a wide range of applications, including biosensing, therapeutics and the production of biofuels, pharmaceuticals and biomaterials. Synthetic biosensing circuits consist of sensitive elements that bind analytes and transducer modules that mobilize cellular responses. Balancing these two modules involves engineering modularity and specificity into the various circuits. Biosensor sensitive elements include environment-responsive promoters (transcriptional), RNA aptamers (translational) and protein receptors (post-translational). Biosensor transducer modules include engineered gene networks (transcriptional), non-coding regulatory RNAs (translational) and protein signal-transduction circuits (post-translational). The contributions of synthetic biology to therapeutics include: engineered networks and organisms for disease-mechanism elucidation, drug-target identification, drug-discovery platforms, therapeutic treatment, therapeutic delivery, and drug production and access. In the microbial production of biofuels and pharmaceuticals, synthetic biology has supplemented traditional genetic and metabolic engineering efforts by aiding the construction of optimized biosynthetic pathways. Optimizing metabolic flux through biosynthetic pathways is traditionally accomplished by driving the expression of pathway enzymes with strong, inducible promoters. New synthetic approaches include the rapid diversification of various pathway components, the rational and model-guided assembly of pathway components, and hybrid solutions.
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              The second wave of synthetic biology: from modules to systems.

              Synthetic biology is a research field that combines the investigative nature of biology with the constructive nature of engineering. Efforts in synthetic biology have largely focused on the creation and perfection of genetic devices and small modules that are constructed from these devices. But to view cells as true 'programmable' entities, it is now essential to develop effective strategies for assembling devices and modules into intricate, customizable larger scale systems. The ability to create such systems will result in innovative approaches to a wide range of applications, such as bioremediation, sustainable energy production and biomedical therapies.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                February 14 2013
                February 15 2013
                January 03 2013
                February 15 2013
                : 339
                : 6121
                : 823-826
                Article
                10.1126/science.1232033
                3712628
                23287722
                © 2013

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