CRISPR RNAs trigger innate immune responses in human cells

Journal: Genome Research

Published: 2018-03-01

DOI: 10.1101/gr.231936.117

Affiliations: 5

Authors: 8

Go to article

Research Highlight

Fending off immune attacks to CRISPR

© VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

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.

Supported content

  1. Genome Research (2018). doi: 10.1101/gr.231936.117
Institutions FC
Center for Genome Engineering, IBS, South Korea 0.42
National Medical Center, South Korea 0.38
Department of Basic Science, UST, South Korea 0.17
Department of Chemistry, SNU, South Korea 0.04

Return