Mitigation of off-target toxicity in CRISPR-Cas9 screens for essential non-coding elements.
2019; 10 (1): 4063
Pooled CRISPR-Cas9 screens are a powerful method for functionally characterizing regulatory elements in the non-coding genome, but off-target effects in these experiments have not been systematically evaluated. Here, we investigate Cas9, dCas9, and CRISPRi/a off-target activity in screens for essential regulatory elements. The sgRNAs with the largest effects in genome-scale screens for essential CTCF loop anchors in K562 cells were not single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) that disrupted gene expression near the on-target CTCF anchor. Rather, these sgRNAs had high off-target activity that, while only weakly correlated with absolute off-target site number, could be predicted by the recently developed GuideScan specificity score. Screens conducted in parallel with CRISPRi/a, which do not induce double-stranded DNA breaks, revealed that a distinct set of off-targets also cause strong confounding fitness effects with these epigenome-editing tools. Promisingly, filtering of CRISPRi libraries using GuideScan specificity scores removed these confounded sgRNAs and enabled identification of essential regulatory elements.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-11955-7
View details for PubMedID 31492858
Pairwise library screen systematically interrogates Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 specificity in human cells (vol 9, 2962, 2018)
2018; 9: 3542
The original HTML version of this Article incorrectly listed an affiliation of Josh Tycko as 'Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA', instead of the correct 'Present address: Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA'. It also incorrectly listed an affiliation of this author as 'Present address: Arrakis Therapeutics, 35 Gatehouse Dr., Waltham, MA, 02451, USA'.The original HTML version incorrectly listed an affiliation of Luis A. Barrera as 'Present address: Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA', instead of the correct 'Present address: Arrakis Therapeutics, 35 Gatehouse Dr., Waltham, MA 02451, USA'.Finally, the original HTML version incorrectly omitted an affiliation of Nicholas C. Huston: 'Present address: Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA'.This has been corrected in the HTML version of the Article. The PDF version was correct from the time of publication.
View details for PubMedID 30154463
Pairwise library screen systematically interrogates Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 specificity in human cells
2018; 9: 2962
Therapeutic genome editing with Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 (SaCas9) requires a rigorous understanding of its potential off-target activity in the human genome. Here we report a high-throughput screening approach to measure SaCas9 genome editing variation in human cells across a large repertoire of 88,692 single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) paired with matched or mismatched target sites in a synthetic cassette. We incorporate randomized barcodes that enable whitelisting of correctly synthesized molecules for further downstream analysis, in order to circumvent the limitation of oligonucleotide synthesis errors. We find SaCas9 sgRNAs with 21-mer or 22-mer spacer sequences are generally more active, although high efficiency 20-mer spacers are markedly less tolerant of mismatches. Using this dataset, we developed an SaCas9 specificity model that performs robustly in ranking off-target sites. The barcoded pairwise library screen enabled high-fidelity recovery of guide-target relationships, providing a scalable framework for the investigation of CRISPR enzyme properties and general nucleic acid interactions.
View details for PubMedID 30054474
Enhancer connectome in primary human cells identifies target genes of disease-associated DNA elements.
The challenge of linking intergenic mutations to target genes has limited molecular understanding of human diseases. Here we show that H3K27ac HiChIP generates high-resolution contact maps of active enhancers and target genes in rare primary human T cell subtypes and coronary artery smooth muscle cells. Differentiation of naive T cells into T helper 17 cells or regulatory T cells creates subtype-specific enhancer-promoter interactions, specifically at regions of shared DNA accessibility. These data provide a principled means of assigning molecular functions to autoimmune and cardiovascular disease risk variants, linking hundreds of noncoding variants to putative gene targets. Target genes identified with HiChIP are further supported by CRISPR interference and activation at linked enhancers, by the presence of expression quantitative trait loci, and by allele-specific enhancer loops in patient-derived primary cells. The majority of disease-associated enhancers contact genes beyond the nearest gene in the linear genome, leading to a fourfold increase in the number of potential target genes for autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases.
View details for PubMedID 28945252
Methods and Applications of CRISPR-Mediated Base Editing in Eukaryotic Genomes.
2017; 68 (1): 26–43
The past several years have seen an explosion in development of applications for the CRISPR-Cas9 system, from efficient genome editing, to high-throughput screening, to recruitment of a range of DNA and chromatin-modifying enzymes. While homology-directed repair (HDR) coupled with Cas9 nuclease cleavage has been used with great success to repair and re-write genomes, recently developed base-editing systems present a useful orthogonal strategy to engineer nucleotide substitutions. Base editing relies on recruitment of cytidine deaminases to introduce changes (rather than double-stranded breaks and donor templates) and offers potential improvements in efficiency while limiting damage and simplifying the delivery of editing machinery. At the same time, these systems enable novel mutagenesis strategies to introduce sequence diversity for engineering and discovery. Here, we review the different base-editing platforms, including their deaminase recruitment strategies and editing outcomes, and compare them to other CRISPR genome-editing technologies. Additionally, we discuss how these systems have been applied in therapeutic, engineering, and research settings. Lastly, we explore future directions of this emerging technology.
View details for PubMedID 28985508