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Rapid and Efficient Genome Editing in Staphylococcus aureus by Using an Engineered CRISPR/Cas9 System

Chen, Weizhong, Zhang, Yifei, Yeo, Won-Sik, Bae, Taeok, Ji, Quanjiang
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2017 v.139 no.10 pp. 3790-3795
DNA assembly, Staphylococcus aureus, drug resistance, drugs, gene deletion, genes, genetic engineering, humans, infectious diseases, mortality, pathogenesis, pathogens, physiology, plasmids, screening, transcription (genetics)
Staphylococcus aureus, a major human pathogen, has been the cause of serious infectious diseases with a high mortality rate. Although genetics is a key means to study S. aureus physiology, such as drug resistance and pathogenesis, genetic manipulation in S. aureus is always time-consuming and labor-intensive. Here we report a CRISPR/Cas9 system (pCasSA) for rapid and efficient genome editing, including gene deletion, insertion, and single-base substitution mutation in S. aureus. The designed pCasSA system is amenable to the assembly of spacers and repair arms by Golden Gate assembly and Gibson assembly, respectively, enabling rapid construction of the plasmids for editing. We further engineered the pCasSA system to be an efficient transcription inhibition system for gene knockdown and possible genome-wide screening. The development of the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing and transcription inhibition tools will dramatically accelerate drug-target exploration and drug development.