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      Modeling Cancer in the CRISPR Era

      1 , 2

      Annual Review of Cancer Biology

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          In just a few short years, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing has fundamentally changed basic, agricultural, and biomedical research, but no field has felt a more profound impact than cancer research. The ability to quickly and precisely manipulate the genome has opened the floodgates for a new and more elaborate understanding of how genes and gene regulation influence disease. Here we review how the development and implementation of CRISPR-based technology is redefining the way we study cancer, and ultimately how it may be used to improve treatment outcomes.

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          Most cited references 57

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          Epigenome editing by a CRISPR/Cas9-based acetyltransferase activates genes from promoters and enhancers

          Technologies that facilitate the targeted manipulation of epigenetic marks could be used to precisely control cell phenotype or interrogate the relationship between the epigenome and transcriptional control. Here we have generated a programmable acetyltransferase based on the CRISPR/Cas9 gene regulation system, consisting of the nuclease-null dCas9 protein fused to the catalytic core of the human acetyltransferase p300. This fusion protein catalyzes acetylation of histone H3 lysine 27 at its target sites, corresponding with robust transcriptional activation of target genes from promoters, proximal enhancers, and distal enhancers. Gene activation by the targeted acetyltransferase is highly specific across the genome. In contrast to conventional dCas9-based activators, the acetyltransferase effectively activates genes from enhancer regions and with individual guide RNAs. The core p300 domain is also portable to other programmable DNA-binding proteins. These results support targeted acetylation as a causal mechanism of transactivation and provide a new robust tool for manipulating gene regulation.
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            Efficient multiplex biallelic zebrafish genome editing using a CRISPR nuclease system.

            A simple and robust method for targeted mutagenesis in zebrafish has long been sought. Previous methods generate monoallelic mutations in the germ line of F0 animals, usually delaying homozygosity for the mutation to the F2 generation. Generation of robust biallelic mutations in the F0 would allow for phenotypic analysis directly in injected animals. Recently the type II prokaryotic clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) system has been adapted to serve as a targeted genome mutagenesis tool. Here we report an improved CRISPR/Cas system in zebrafish with custom guide RNAs and a zebrafish codon-optimized Cas9 protein that efficiently targeted a reporter transgene Tg(-5.1mnx1:egfp) and four endogenous loci (tyr, golden, mitfa, and ddx19). Mutagenesis rates reached 75-99%, indicating that most cells contained biallelic mutations. Recessive null-like phenotypes were observed in four of the five targeting cases, supporting high rates of biallelic gene disruption. We also observed efficient germ-line transmission of the Cas9-induced mutations. Finally, five genomic loci can be targeted simultaneously, resulting in multiple loss-of-function phenotypes in the same injected fish. This CRISPR/Cas9 system represents a highly effective and scalable gene knockout method in zebrafish and has the potential for applications in other model organisms.
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              The CRISPRdb database and tools to display CRISPRs and to generate dictionaries of spacers and repeats

              Background In Archeae and Bacteria, the repeated elements called CRISPRs for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats" are believed to participate in the defence against viruses. Short sequences called spacers are stored in-between repeated elements. In the current model, motifs comprising spacers and repeats may target an invading DNA and lead to its degradation through a proposed mechanism similar to RNA interference. Analysis of intra-species polymorphism shows that new motifs (one spacer and one repeated element) are added in a polarised fashion. Although their principal characteristics have been described, a lot remains to be discovered on the way CRISPRs are created and evolve. As new genome sequences become available it appears necessary to develop automated scanning tools to make available CRISPRs related information and to facilitate additional investigations. Description We have produced a program, CRISPRFinder, which identifies CRISPRs and extracts the repeated and unique sequences. Using this software, a database is constructed which is automatically updated monthly from newly released genome sequences. Additional tools were created to allow the alignment of flanking sequences in search for similarities between different loci and to build dictionaries of unique sequences. To date, almost six hundred CRISPRs have been identified in 475 published genomes. Two Archeae out of thirty-seven and about half of Bacteria do not possess a CRISPR. Fine analysis of repeated sequences strongly supports the current view that new motifs are added at one end of the CRISPR adjacent to the putative promoter. Conclusion It is hoped that availability of a public database, regularly updated and which can be queried on the web will help in further dissecting and understanding CRISPR structure and flanking sequences evolution. Subsequent analyses of the intra-species CRISPR polymorphism will be facilitated by CRISPRFinder and the dictionary creator. CRISPRdb is accessible at
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Cancer Biology
                Annu. Rev. Cancer Biol.
                Annual Reviews
                2472-3428
                2472-3428
                March 04 2018
                March 04 2018
                : 2
                : 1
                : 111-131
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA;
                [2 ]Department of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY 10021, USA;
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-cancerbio-030617-050455
                © 2018

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