Simple temperature change makes gene-editing more efficient

Microscopic photo of zebrafish embryos

Yale geneticists have expanded the potential uses of a groundbreaking gene-editing technology by modifying a single variable — temperature.

The CRISPR-Cpf1 gene-editing technology has proved to be highly efficient in mice but not in other model organisms. The Yale team showed that temperature is a key factor controlling Cpf1 activity and have optimized this technology allowing researchers to make targeted genetic changes in a host of model organisms such as zebrafish and the fruit fly Drosophila.

With these optimizations, we can modify genomes of every other organism,” said lead author Miguel A. Moreno-Mateos.

Now, we have a robust system able to efficiently edit regions in the genome not targetable by other CRISPR systems and this activity can be easy controlled just by changing the temperature.”

The findings were reported Dec. 8 in the journal Nature Communications.

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