April 22. A novel nuclease activated by low nucleotide levels
On Earth day, a study was published detailing the discovery of a novel sequence specific nuclease (GajA) in the bacterial defense against phages. Interestingly, nuclease activity of GajA is controlled by an ATPase-like domain and activation occurs when the nucleotide pool becomes depleted following replication and transcription by invading phages.
For more information, see Cheng, R., et al. (2021) A nucleotide-sensing endonuclease from the Gabijabacterial defense system. Nucleic Acids Research https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkab277
Keywords: CRISPR, Nuclease, Nucleotide Pool
April 20. Pre-clinical advances: CRISPR base editors to fix mutations Sickle Cell disease
In another tweak on the traditional CRISPR tool, Beam Therapeutics has recently unveiled a new CRISPR base editing tool specifically designed to directly edit the causative sickle hemoglobin point mutation.
For more information, see: Chu, S.H., et al. (2021) Editing of the Sickle Cell disease mutation. The CRISPR J.4: https://doi.org/10.1089/crispr.2020.0144
Keywords: CRISPR, base editing, Sickle Cell disease
March 16. New Tools: Comparison of prime editing versus templated gene editing in vivo
In a study published in Genome Biology, the authors compared prime editing and CRISPR-mediated homology-directed repair to create inactivating base pair changes. They found that prime editing eliminated indels and off target effects compared to CRISPR-mediated homology-directed repair.
For more information, see: Gao, P., et al. (2021) Prime editing in mice reveals the essentiality of a single base in driving tissue-specific gene expression. Genome Biol. 22: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02304-3
Keywords: CRISPR, prime editing, homology directed repair
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