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Review
, 172 (6), 1239-1259

The Biology of CRISPR-Cas: Backward and Forward

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Review

The Biology of CRISPR-Cas: Backward and Forward

Frank Hille et al. Cell.

Abstract

In bacteria and archaea, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins constitute an adaptive immune system against phages and other foreign genetic elements. Here, we review the biology of the diverse CRISPR-Cas systems and the major progress achieved in recent years in understanding the underlying mechanisms of the three stages of CRISPR-Cas immunity: adaptation, crRNA biogenesis, and interference. The ecology and regulation of CRISPR-Cas in the context of phage infection, the roles of these systems beyond immunity, and the open questions that propel the field forward are also discussed.

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