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RNA-GUIDED ENDONUCLEASES

A tweak and a peek: How Cas9 pries open double-stranded DNA to check its sequence

The CRISPR–Cas enzyme Cas9 faces the challenge of identifying a specific nucleotide sequence within double-stranded DNA. New cryo-EM and biochemical studies show that in the earliest steps of binding, Cas9 bends the DNA and promotes unwinding of two base pairs, enabling it to efficiently scan the sequence of this critical region.

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Fig. 1: Bending and unwinding of target DNA by Cas9.

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Correspondence to Rick Russell.

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Sinan, S., Russell, R. A tweak and a peek: How Cas9 pries open double-stranded DNA to check its sequence. Nat Struct Mol Biol 29, 286–288 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41594-022-00763-1

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