A new technique adapted from CRISPR to control and activate a wide range of genes, at significantly greater levels than seen with techniques to date
Potentially powerful tool for programming bacteria for diverse applications in industry and research:
Proof-of-concept demonstrated for:
Advances in reading, writing and editing DNA are helping to drive the engineering biology industry. Beyond gene editing, CRISPR-Cas systems have been developed for targeted and programmable gene regulation. However, until now, the limitation of existing techniques in bacteria have prevented useful products to be made cost effectively and efficiently. This novel system is therefore a powerful and versatile engineering biology tool for diverse research and industrial applications
Edinburgh researchers have designed, constructed and characterised a CRISPRa system based on a eukaryote-like activation mechanism in bacteria, which shows strong activity, superior dynamic range and good tolerance to a wide range of UAS locations (at least 40 bp).
The system utilises dxCas9 (mutation of dCas9 based on xCas93.7) which increased the output dynamic range and further permitted use of non-canonical PAM. The system allows a multi-gene expression profile screening platform engineering approach; only one pathway circuit needs to be constructed to generate multiple expression profiles, overcoming the bottle-neck of conventional library construction approaches.
Please note, the header image is purely illustrative. Source: Braňo via Unsplash.