Salk Scientists Use Modified CRISPR System to Treat DiseasesDecember 13, 2017
Scientists at Salk Institute for Biological Studies have developed a new version of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology that enabled them to activate genes without creating breaks in the DNA. This breakthrough has the potential to help human disease treatment using gene editing tools.
With the original CRISPR-Cas9 system, the process entails use of Cas9 enzyme together with guide RNAs that target the location where double strand breaks will be created. Recently, some scientists used a "dead" version of Cas9 which targets specific locations in the genome but no longer cuts the DNA. Instead, the dCas9 comes with molecular switches that turn on targeted genes. However, the dCas9 and its switches are too big to fit in the viruses used to deliver them into cells of living organisms.
Izpisua Belmonte and his team from Salk combined Cas9/dCas9 with various activator switches to search for a combination that worked even when the proteins were not fused to one another. Then, they packaged the Cas9 or sCas9 into one virus, and the switches and guide RNAs into another virus. As a proof of concept, they used their new approach to treat succesfully several diseases, including diabetes, acute kidney disease, and muscular dystrophy, in mouse models.
Watch the video from Salk for more information.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- FAO Calls for Urgent Actions to Reverse the Rise in Hunger
- Global Impact of Not Planting Herbicide Tolerant Crops Due to Glyphosate Ban
- Study Identifies Genetic Basis of Western Corn Rootworm Resistance
- New Technique to Help Plant Breeders Develop Drought Resistant Varieties Faster
- Australian OGTR Invites Comments for Field Trial of GM Perennial Ryegrass
- Max Planck Researchers Engineer Key Enzyme in Photosynthesis
- DND1-Silencing in Potato and Tomato Confers Resistance to Botrytis cinerea
- ThPP1 Gene Enhances Alkali Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Rice
- Arabidopsis' AtGOLS1 Gene Negatively Regulates Seed Germination
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Indian Researchers Test CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing in Banana
- Lignin Reduction Observed in CRISPR-Edited Switchgrass
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Salk Scientists Use Modified CRISPR System to Treat Diseases
- Sugarcane in Africa
- Biotech Crop and Traits Annual Updates
- ISAAA Blog: Clive James and ISAAA, Top Sources of Info on Biotech in the Philippines
Read the latest:
- Crop Biotech Update (January 25, 2023)
- Genome Editing Supplement (January 18, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (January 25, 2023)
Subscribe to CBU: