CRISPR Guide RNA Cloning for Mammalian Systems

J Vis Exp. 2018 Oct 2:(140):57998. doi: 10.3791/57998.


The outlined protocol describes streamlined methods for the efficient and cost-effective generation of Cas9-associated guide RNAs. Two alternative strategies for guide RNA (gRNA) cloning are outlined based on the usage of the Type IIS restriction enzyme BsmBI in combination with a set of compatible vectors. Outside of the access to Sanger sequencing services to validate the generated vectors, no special equipment or reagents are required aside from those that are standard to modern molecular biology laboratories. The outlined method is primarily intended for cloning one single gRNA or one paired gRNA-expressing vector at a time. This procedure does not scale well for the generation of libraries containing thousands of gRNAs. For those purposes, alternative sources of oligonucleotide synthesis such as oligo-chip synthesis are recommended. Finally, while this protocol focuses on a set of mammalian vectors, the general strategy is plastic and is applicable to any organism if the appropriate gRNA vector is available.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats / genetics*
  • RNA, Guide, CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics*


  • RNA, Guide, CRISPR-Cas Systems