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Gene targeting, genome editing: from Dolly to editors

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      Abstract

      One of the most powerful strategies to investigate biology we have as scientists, is the ability to transfer genetic material in a controlled and deliberate manner between organisms. When applied to livestock, applications worthy of commercial venture can be devised. Although initial methods used to generate transgenic livestock resulted in random transgene insertion, the development of SCNT technology enabled homologous recombination gene targeting strategies to be used in livestock. Much has been accomplished using this approach. However, now we have the ability to change a specific base in the genome without leaving any other DNA mark, with no need for a transgene. With the advent of the genome editors this is now possible and like other significant technological leaps, the result is an even greater diversity of possible applications. Indeed, in merely 5 years, these ‘molecular scissors’ have enabled the production of more than 300 differently edited pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. The advent of genome editors has brought genetic engineering of livestock to a position where industry, the public and politicians are all eager to see real use of genetically engineered livestock to address societal needs. Since the first transgenic livestock reported just over three decades ago the field of livestock biotechnology has come a long way—but the most exciting period is just starting.

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      Induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cultures by defined factors.

      Differentiated cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic-like state by transfer of nuclear contents into oocytes or by fusion with embryonic stem (ES) cells. Little is known about factors that induce this reprogramming. Here, we demonstrate induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic or adult fibroblasts by introducing four factors, Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4, under ES cell culture conditions. Unexpectedly, Nanog was dispensable. These cells, which we designated iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells, exhibit the morphology and growth properties of ES cells and express ES cell marker genes. Subcutaneous transplantation of iPS cells into nude mice resulted in tumors containing a variety of tissues from all three germ layers. Following injection into blastocysts, iPS cells contributed to mouse embryonic development. These data demonstrate that pluripotent stem cells can be directly generated from fibroblast cultures by the addition of only a few defined factors.
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        Multiplex genome engineering using CRISPR/Cas systems.

        Functional elucidation of causal genetic variants and elements requires precise genome editing technologies. The type II prokaryotic CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas adaptive immune system has been shown to facilitate RNA-guided site-specific DNA cleavage. We engineered two different type II CRISPR/Cas systems and demonstrate that Cas9 nucleases can be directed by short RNAs to induce precise cleavage at endogenous genomic loci in human and mouse cells. Cas9 can also be converted into a nicking enzyme to facilitate homology-directed repair with minimal mutagenic activity. Lastly, multiple guide sequences can be encoded into a single CRISPR array to enable simultaneous editing of several sites within the mammalian genome, demonstrating easy programmability and wide applicability of the RNA-guided nuclease technology.
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          RNA-guided human genome engineering via Cas9.

          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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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Midlothian, EH25 9RG UK
            Contributors
            wenfang.spring.tan@roslin.ed.ac.uk
            bruce.whitelaw@roslin.ed.ac.uk
            Journal
            Transgenic Res
            Transgenic Res
            Transgenic Research
            Springer International Publishing (Cham )
            0962-8819
            1573-9368
            3 February 2016
            3 February 2016
            2016
            : 25
            : 273-287
            26847670 4882362 9932 10.1007/s11248-016-9932-x
            © The Author(s) 2016

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

            Funding
            Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000268, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council;
            Award ID: ISPG and BB/L007371/1
            Funded by: InnovateUK
            Award ID: Catalyst 131782 and CLDC 102085
            Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100005725, CHDI Foundation;
            Funded by: Genus plc
            Funded by: EU COST Action
            Award ID: SALAAM BM1308
            Categories
            Tarc X
            Custom metadata
            © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

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