CRISPR RNAs trigger innate immune responses in human cells
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A chemical tweak to one component of the CRISPR gene-editing platform could help neutralize the threat posed by immune reactions to the popular DNA-engineering technique.
A team from South Korea, led by researchers from the Institute for Basic Science, showed that human and mouse cells recognized lab-synthesized ‘guide RNA’ — short sequences that lead DNA-cutting enzymes to specific places in the genome — as foreign and mount innate immune responses against them, leading to cell death.
This problem could be simply mitigated, however, by adding an enzyme that removes a trio of chemical tags — a relic of lab-made RNA synthesis — from the front end of the guide molecule. The team found that pre-treating guide RNAs in this way led to more efficient gene editing in human T cells, highlighting the potential of a simple way to make CRISPR safer for therapeutic applications.
- Genome Research (2018). doi: 10.1101/gr.231936.117
|Division of Interdisciplinary, IBS, South Korea||0.42|
|National Medical Center, South Korea||0.38|
|University of Science and Technology (UST), South Korea||0.17|
|Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea||0.04|