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Review
, 75 (12), 1675-1683

CRISPR-Cas System: History and Prospects as a Genome Editing Tool in Microorganisms

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Review

CRISPR-Cas System: History and Prospects as a Genome Editing Tool in Microorganisms

Muhammad R Javed et al. Curr Microbiol.

Abstract

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR or more precisely CRISPR-Cas) system has proven to be a highly efficient and simple tool for achieving site-specific genome modifications in comparison to Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) and Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs). The discovery of bacterial defense system that uses RNA-guided DNA cleaving enzymes for producing double-strand breaks along CRISPR has provided an exciting alternative to ZFNs and TALENs for gene editing & regulation, as the CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins remain the same for different gene targets and only the short sequence of the guide RNA needs to be changed to redirect the site-specific cleavage. Therefore, in recent years the CRISPR-Cas system has emerged as a revolutionary engineering tool for carrying out precise and controlled genetic modifications in many microbes such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Lactobacillus reuteri, Clostridium beijerinckii, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Though, concerns about CRISPR-Cas effectiveness in interlinked gene modifications and off-target effects need to be addressed. Nevertheless, it holds a great potential to speed up the pace of gene function discovery by interacting with previously intractable organisms and by raising the extent of genetic screens. Therefore, the potential applications of this system in microbial adaptive immune system, genome editing, gene regulations, functional genomics & biosynthesis along ethical issues, and possible harmful effects have been reviewed.

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