Circular synthesized CRISPR/Cas gRNAs for functional interrogations in the coding and noncoding genome

Elife. 2019 Mar 6:8:e42549. doi: 10.7554/eLife.42549.


Current technologies used to generate CRISPR/Cas gene perturbation reagents are labor intense and require multiple ligation and cloning steps. Furthermore, increasing gRNA sequence diversity negatively affects gRNA distribution, leading to libraries of heterogeneous quality. Here, we present a rapid and cloning-free mutagenesis technology that can efficiently generate covalently-closed-circular-synthesized (3Cs) CRISPR/Cas gRNA reagents and that uncouples sequence diversity from sequence distribution. We demonstrate the fidelity and performance of 3Cs reagents by tailored targeting of all human deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) and identify their essentiality for cell fitness. To explore high-content screening, we aimed to generate the largest up-to-date gRNA library that can be used to interrogate the coding and noncoding human genome and simultaneously to identify genes, predicted promoter flanking regions, transcription factors and CTCF binding sites that are linked to doxorubicin resistance. Our 3Cs technology enables fast and robust generation of bias-free gene perturbation libraries with yet unmatched diversities and should be considered an alternative to established technologies.

Keywords: 3Cs technology; CRISPR/Cas; DUBs; Doxorubicin; cell biology; gRNA library; genetics; genome-wide; genomics; human.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
  • Endonucleases
  • Gene Targeting / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mutagenesis*
  • RNA, Guide, CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics
  • RNA, Guide, CRISPR-Cas Systems / metabolism*


  • RNA, Guide, CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Endonucleases

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.rs432pr