CRISPR-Cas9-based Genome Engineering to Generate Jurkat Reporter Models for HIV-1 Infection with Selected Proviral Integration Sites

J Vis Exp. 2018 Nov 14;(141). doi: 10.3791/58572.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) integrates its proviral DNA non-randomly into the host cell genome at recurrent sites and genomic hotspots. Here we present a detailed protocol for the generation of novel in vitro models for HIV infection with chosen genomic integration sites using CRISPR-Cas9-based genome engineering technology. With this method, a reporter sequence of choice can be integrated into a targeted, chosen genomic locus, reflecting clinically relevant integration sites. In the protocol, the design of an HIV-derived reporter and choosing of a target site and gRNA sequence are described. A targeting vector with homology arms is constructed and transfected into Jurkat T cells. The reporter sequence is targeted to the selected genomic site by homologous recombination facilitated by a Cas9-mediated double-strand break at the target site. Single-cell clones are generated and screened for targeting events by flow cytometry and PCR. Selected clones are then expanded, and correct targeting is verified by PCR, sequencing, and Southern blotting. Potential off-target events of CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome engineering are analyzed. By using this protocol, novel cell culture systems that model HIV infection at clinically relevant integration sites can be generated. Although the generation of single-cell clones and verification of correct reporter sequence integration is time-consuming, the resulting clonal lines are powerful tools to functionally analyze proviral integration site choice.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9 / genetics
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Gene Editing*
  • Genome*
  • HIV Infections / genetics*
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • RNA, Guide / genetics
  • Virus Integration*


  • RNA, Guide
  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9