Jump to Main Content
Advances in CRISPR-Cas systems for RNA targeting, tracking and editing
- Wang, Fei, Wang, Lianrong, Zou, Xuan, Duan, Suling, Li, Zhiqiang, Deng, Zixin, Luo, Jie, Lee, Sang Yup, Chen, Shi
- Biotechnology advances 2019
- DNA, RNA, amino acids, gene editing, genes
- Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) systems, especially type II (Cas9) systems, have been widely used in gene/genome targeting. Modifications of Cas9 enable these systems to become platforms for precise DNA manipulations. However, the utilization of CRISPR-Cas systems in RNA targeting remains preliminary. The discovery of type VI CRISPR-Cas systems (Cas13) shed light on RNA-guided RNA targeting. Cas13d, the smallest Cas13 protein, with a length of only ~930 amino acids, is a promising platform for RNA targeting compatible with viral delivery systems. Much effort has also been made to develop Cas9, Cas13a and Cas13b applications for RNA-guided RNA targeting. The discovery of new RNA-targeting CRISPR-Cas systems as well as the development of RNA-targeting platforms with Cas9 and Cas13 will promote RNA-targeting technology substantially. Here, we review new advances in RNA-targeting CRISPR-Cas systems as well as advances in applications of these systems in RNA targeting, tracking and editing. We also compare these Cas protein-based technologies with traditional technologies for RNA targeting, tracking and editing. Finally, we discuss remaining questions and prospects for the future.