Harnessing type I CRISPR–Cas systems for genome engineering in human cells

Peter Cameron*, Mary M. Coons, Sanne E. Klompe, Alexandra M. Lied, Stephen C. Smith, Bastien Vidal, Rachel Kennedy, Stan J.J. Brouns, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Type I CRISPR–Cas systems are the most abundant adaptive immune systems in bacteria and archaea1,2. Target interference relies on a multi-subunit, RNA-guided complex called Cascade3,4, which recruits a trans-acting helicase-nuclease, Cas3, for target degradation5–7. Type I systems have rarely been used for eukaryotic genome engineering applications owing to the relative difficulty of heterologous expression of the multicomponent Cascade complex. Here, we fuse Cascade to the dimerization-dependent, non-specific FokI nuclease domain8–11 and achieve RNA-guided gene editing in multiple human cell lines with high specificity and efficiencies of up to ~50%. FokI–Cascade can be reconstituted via an optimized two-component expression system encoding the CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins on a single polycistronic vector and the guide RNA (gRNA) on a separate plasmid. Expression of the full Cascade–Cas3 complex in human cells resulted in targeted deletions of up to ~200 kb in length. Our work demonstrates that highly abundant, previously untapped type I CRISPR–Cas systems can be harnessed for genome engineering applications in eukaryotic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1471-1477
Number of pages7
JournalNature Biotechnology
Volume37
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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