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Title: Precise transcript targeting by CRISPR-Csm complexes

Robust and precise transcript targeting in mammalian cells remains a difficult challenge using existing approaches due to inefficiency, imprecision and subcellular compartmentalization. Here we show that the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Csm complex, a multiprotein effector from type III CRISPR immune systems in prokaryotes, provides surgical RNA ablation of both nuclear and cytoplasmic transcripts. As part of the most widely occurring CRISPR adaptive immune pathway, CRISPR-Csm uses a programmable RNA-guided mechanism to find and degrade target RNA molecules without inducing indiscriminatetrans-cleavage of cellular RNAs, giving it an important advantage over the CRISPR-Cas13 family of enzymes. Using single-vector delivery of theStreptococcus thermophilusCsm complex, we observe high-efficiency RNA knockdown (90–99%) and minimal off-target effects in human cells, outperforming existing technologies including short hairpin RNA- and Cas13-mediated knockdown. We also find that catalytically inactivated Csm achieves specific and durable RNA binding, a property we harness for live-cell RNA imaging. These results establish the feasibility and efficacy of multiprotein CRISPR-Cas effector complexes as RNA-targeting tools in eukaryotes.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Biotechnology
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Biotechnology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1256 to 1264
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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