Extension of the crRNA enhances Cpf1 gene editing in vitro and in vivo

Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 17;9(1):3313. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05641-3.


Engineering of the Cpf1 crRNA has the potential to enhance its gene editing efficiency and non-viral delivery to cells. Here, we demonstrate that extending the length of its crRNA at the 5' end can enhance the gene editing efficiency of Cpf1 both in cells and in vivo. Extending the 5' end of the crRNA enhances the gene editing efficiency of the Cpf1 RNP to induce non-homologous end-joining and homology-directed repair using electroporation in cells. Additionally, chemical modifications on the extended 5' end of the crRNA result in enhanced serum stability. Also, extending the 5' end of the crRNA by 59 nucleotides increases the delivery efficiency of Cpf1 RNP in cells and in vivo cationic delivery vehicles including polymer nanoparticle. Thus, 5' extension and chemical modification of the Cpf1 crRNA is an effective method for enhancing the gene editing efficiency of Cpf1 and its delivery in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics*
  • Cations
  • DNA End-Joining Repair / genetics
  • Gene Editing*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cations
  • Lipids
  • Polymers
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • Ribonucleoproteins