center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


CRISPRi, the next generation

July 16, 2013

The CRISPR system has recently been shown to be a powerful tool for both genome editing and controlling gene expression. Now Systems Biology Fellow Lei Stanley Qi and colleagues take CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) further by demonstrating the use of CRISPR as a broad and modular platform for eukaryotic transcription regulation.

The CRISPR-associated catalytically inactive dCas9 protein could be coupled to effector domains with distinct regulatory functions, enabling stable and efficient transcriptional repression or activation, in both human and yeast cells. In addition, multiple endogenous genes could be silenced in a robust and highly specific manner. Thus, CRISPRi may be as useful a tool as RNAi, but with potentially fewer off-target effects. Click here to read the latest findings published in Cell.