CASAAV: A CRISPR-Based Platform for Rapid Dissection of Gene Function In Vivo

Curr Protoc Mol Biol. 2017 Oct 2;120:31.11.1-31.11.14. doi: 10.1002/cpmb.46.


In vivo loss-of-function studies are currently limited by the need for appropriate conditional knockout alleles. CRISPR/Cas9 is a powerful tool commonly used to induce loss-of-function mutations in vitro. However, CRISPR components have been difficult to deploy in vivo. To address this problem, we developed the CASAAV (CRISPR/Cas9/AAV-based somatic mutagenesis) platform, in which recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) is used to deliver tandem guide RNAs and Cre recombinase to Cre-dependent Cas9-P2A-GFP mice. Because Cre is under the control of a tissue-specific promoter, this system allows temporally controlled, cell type-selective knockout of virtually any gene to be obtained within a month using only one mouse line. Here, we focus on gene disruption in cardiomyocytes, but the system could easily be adapted to inactivate genes in other cell types transduced by AAV. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: Adeno-associated virus; CRISPR; Cardiomyocyte; Genetic mosaic; Mouse model.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Endonucleases / genetics
  • Endonucleases / metabolism
  • Gene Editing*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Order
  • Gene Targeting / methods
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9
  • Cas9 endonuclease Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Endonucleases