center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


A CRISPR imaging tool

December 20, 2013

Visualizing specific endogenous genomic loci in living cells has been challenging. Now reported in the latest issue of Cell, Center Fellow Lei Stanley Qi and colleagues have repurposed the bacterial CRISPR/Cas system for use as a robust imaging tool.

By using an EGFP-tagged nuclease-deficient Cas9 protein and small guide RNAs, the authors could demonstrate visualization of telomeres and their dynamics, repetitive sequences in endogenous protein-coding genes, arbitrary nonrepetitive genomic sequences, and chromosome dynamics during mitosis. This CRISPR imaging tool represents a powerful tool to study chromatin architecture and nuclear organization.