New CRISPR Tool Restores Protein Imbalance in Dementia Patient's CellsMarch 28, 2018
CRISPR experts at Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in the U.S. successfully developed a new tool called CasRx that targets not the DNA, but the RNA, and then used it to correct a protein imbalance in cells from a dementia patient, restoring them to healthy levels. The work is published in Cell journal.
"Bioengineers are like nature's detectives, searching for clues in patterns of DNA to help solve the mysteries of genetic diseases," says Patrick Hsu, a Helmsley-Salk Fellow and senior author of the study. "CRISPR has revolutionized genome engineering, and we wanted to expand the toolbox from DNA to RNA."
CRISPR has been used as a power gene editing tool targeting the DNA. The Salk team searched for bacterial genomes that could target RNA, which could then be designed to fix problems with RNA and resulting proteins. They found a family of CRISPR enzymes that targets the RNA and called it Cas13d. Similar to Cas9 family, Cas13d enzymes coming from various bacterial species also exhibit different activities. They searched to the best version that can be used for human cells, which turned out to be from Ruminococcus flavefaciens XPD3002. Thus, the tool was named CasRx.
Dementia patients have imbalance of two versions of the tau protein. The team designed the CasRx to target RNA sequences for the version of the tau protein that is overproduced. CasRx was proven to be 80 percent effective in rebalancing the tau protein to healthy levels.
Read more from Salk.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a non-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
- Drought Causing Highest Losses in Agri among All Disasters, Report
- Unique Communication Strategy in Pathway that Controls Plant Growth Discovered
- New Insights on How Cellulose is Built Could Indicate How to Break it Apart for Biofuels
- Researchers Find New Clues on How to Stop Spread of Citrus Greening
- Scientists Discover Circadian Clock Controls Cell Cycle in Plants
- International Team Finds a Way to Stop Rice Blast Spread
- SlMAPK1 Overexpression Enhances Drought Tolerance in Tomato
- Gene Responsible for Cadmium Accumulation in Rice Grains Found
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Brassinosteroids Regulate Secondary Cell Wall Formation in Poplar
- Scientists Prove CRISPR's Potential As Control for Queensland Fruit Fly
- CRISPR-Cas9 Can Modify Cotton Bollworm Genes
- Researchers Discover Gene for Salt Stress Sensitivity in Rice
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Hoppy Beer Without the Hops
- New CRISPR Tool Restores Protein Imbalance in Dementia Patient's Cells
- Training Workshop on ComRes for Scientists
- CAST Issue Paper Discusses Regulatory Barriers to AgBiotech
- Open Access Wild Tomato Genome Now Available
- ISAAA SEAsiaCenter in 2017
Subscribe to CBU: