Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-Cas system: diversity and regulation in Enterobacteriaceae

Future Microbiol. 2022 Oct:17:1249-1267. doi: 10.2217/fmb-2022-0081. Epub 2022 Aug 25.


Insights into the arms race between bacteria and invading mobile genetic elements have revealed the intricacies of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas system and the counter-defenses of bacteriophages. Incredible spacer diversity but significant spacer conservation among species/subspecies dictates the specificity of the CRISPR-Cas system. Researchers have exploited this feature to type/subtype the bacterial strains, devise targeted antimicrobials and regulate gene expression. This review focuses on the nuances of the CRISPR-Cas systems in Enterobacteriaceae that predominantly harbor type I-E and I-F CRISPR systems. We discuss the systems' regulation by the global regulators, H-NS, LeuO, LRP, cAMP receptor protein and other regulators in response to environmental stress. We further discuss the regulation of noncanonical functions like DNA repair pathways, biofilm formation, quorum sensing and virulence by the CRISPR-Cas system. The review comprehends multiple facets of the CRISPR-Cas system in Enterobacteriaceae including its diverse attributes, association with genetic features, regulation and gene regulatory mechanisms.

Keywords: CRISPR-Cas diversity; CRISPR-Cas noncanonical functions; CRISPR-Cas regulation; Enterobacteriaceae.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria
  • Bacteriophages* / genetics
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Enterobacteriaceae* / genetics
  • Quorum Sensing
  • Virulence