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New, hyper-accurate CRISPR gene editor developed

| | October 12, 2017

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a key region within the Cas9 protein that governs how accurately CRISPR-Cas9 homes in on a target DNA sequence, and have tweaked it to produce a hyper-accurate gene editor with the lowest level of off-target cutting to date [read the full study here (behind paywall)].

The protein domain the researchers identified as a master controller of DNA cutting is an obvious target for re-engineering to improve accuracy even further, the researchers say. This approach should help scientists customize variants of Cas9 – the protein that binds and cuts DNA – to minimize the chance that CRISPR-Cas9 will edit DNA at the wrong place….

While improved fidelity benefits basic research, it is absolutely critical when editing genes for clinical applications, since any off-target DNA cutting could disable key genes and lead to permanent, unexpected side effects.

Within the last two years, two teams engineered highly accurate Cas9 proteins – an enhanced specificity one called eSpCas9(1.1) and a high-fidelity one called SpCas9-HF1 – and [researchers Janice Chen and Jennifer Doudna] sought to learn why they cut with higher specificity than the wild-type Cas9 protein from Streptococcus pyogenes used widely today.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Discovery helps engineer more accurate Cas9s for CRISPR editing

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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