A Protocol for Multiple Gene Knockout in Mouse Small Intestinal Organoids Using a CRISPR-concatemer

J Vis Exp. 2017 Jul 12:(125):55916. doi: 10.3791/55916.


CRISPR/Cas9 technology has greatly improved the feasibility and speed of loss-of-function studies that are essential in understanding gene function. In higher eukaryotes, paralogous genes can mask a potential phenotype by compensating the loss of a gene, thus limiting the information that can be obtained from genetic studies relying on single gene knockouts. We have developed a novel, rapid cloning method for guide RNA (gRNA) concatemers in order to create multi-gene knockouts following a single round of transfection in mouse small intestinal organoids. Our strategy allows for the concatemerization of up to four individual gRNAs into a single vector by performing a single Golden Gate shuffling reaction with annealed gRNA oligos and a pre-designed retroviral vector. This allows either the simultaneous knockout of up to four different genes, or increased knockout efficiency following the targeting of one gene by multiple gRNAs. In this protocol, we show in detail how to efficiently clone multiple gRNAs into the retroviral CRISPR-concatemer vector and how to achieve highly efficient electroporation in intestinal organoids. As an example, we show that simultaneous knockout of two pairs of genes encoding negative regulators of the Wnt signaling pathway (Axin1/2 and Rnf43/Znrf3) renders intestinal organoids resistant to the withdrawal of key growth factors.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics*
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats / genetics*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Organoids
  • Transfection