Anti-CRISPR protein applications: natural brakes for CRISPR-Cas technologies

Nat Methods. 2020 May;17(5):471-479. doi: 10.1038/s41592-020-0771-6. Epub 2020 Mar 16.


Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes, a diverse family of prokaryotic adaptive immune systems, have emerged as a biotechnological tool and therapeutic. The discovery of protein inhibitors of CRISPR-Cas systems, called anti-CRISPR (Acr) proteins, enables the development of more controllable and precise CRISPR-Cas tools. Here we discuss applications of Acr proteins for post-translational control of CRISPR-Cas systems in prokaryotic and mammalian cells, organisms and ecosystems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Associated Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Gene Editing*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Protein Engineering


  • CRISPR-Associated Proteins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors