Latest Posts

All Posts

Rewiring Metabolic Circuitry with CRISPR RNA Scaffolds [Video]

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 7, 2015 12:21:00 PM

This post was contributed by Adam Chin-Fatt, a Ph.D. student at the University of Western Ontario. Adam summarizes Zalatan JG, et al.'s recent paper, "Engineering Complex Synthetic Transcriptional Programs with CRISPR RNA Scaffolds." Adam has also created a video to help scientists visualize the concepts discussed in the paper.

The transcriptional control of multiple loci is deftly coordinated by the eukaryotic cell for the execution of many complex cellular behaviors, such as differentiation or metabolism. Our attempts to manipulate these cellular behaviors often fall short with the generation of various flux imbalances. The conventional approach has typically been to either systematically delete/overexpress endogenous genes or to introduce heterologous genes, but the trend of research has shifted in recent years toward tinkering with regulatory networks and multiplex gene control. However, these approaches are often met with the challenges of regulatory bottlenecks and their scope is limited by the lack of well characterized inducible promoters. Far removed from the bio-industry’s vision of ‘biofactories’, most successes in metabolic engineering have been limited to the overexpression of various metabolites in Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae with few techniques that are easily transferrable across host species or metabolic pathways. A new study takes us one step closer to the vision of metabolic biofactories by demonstrating the use of CRISPR-based RNA scaffolds to mimic natural transcriptional programs on multiple genes.

Read More >

Topics: Plasmid Technology, Genome Engineering, Synthetic Biology, CRISPR

CRISPR 101: Homology Directed Repair

Posted by Chari Cortez on Mar 12, 2015 1:48:00 PM

This post was updated on November 3, 2017.

DNA lesions are sites of structural or base-pairing damage of DNA. Perhaps the most harmful type of lesion results from breakage of both DNA strands – a double-strand break (DSB) – as repair of DSBs is paramount for genome stability. DSBs can be caused by intracellular factors such as nucleases and reactive oxygen species, or external forces such as ionizing radiation and ultraviolet light; however, these types of breaks occur randomly and unpredictably. To provide some control over the location of the DNA break, scientists have engineered plasmid-based systems that can target and cut DNA at specified sites. Regardless of what causes the DSB, the repair mechanisms function in the same way.

In this post, we will describe the general mechanism of homology directed repair with a focus on repairing breaks engineered in the lab for genome modification purposes.

Read More >

Topics: Genome Engineering, CRISPR, CRISPR 101

CRISPR 101: A New Series on Genome Editing & CRISPR-Cas

Posted by Marcy Patrick on Mar 5, 2015 12:06:12 PM

I am sure by now you have heard of CRISPRs. (If not, you can get up to speed here and here and here.) With such a fast moving technology, it is sometimes hard to keep pace with the new advances let alone remember the (maybe) long forgotten details of the biological process required to effectively design and utilize these tools. We certainly understand and are here to help!

Starting next week, we'll release the first post in our newest blog series - CRISPR 101 - a companion series to our popular Plasmids 101 articles. These posts are created to educate all levels of scientists and provide a resource for some of the basic principles driving CRISPRs and genome editing technology.

Read More >

Topics: Genome Engineering, Plasmids 101, CRISPR, CRISPR 101

CRISPR Protocol for Genomic Deletions in Mammalian Cell Lines [Video]

Posted by Guest Blogger on Feb 18, 2015 10:09:22 AM

The following post was contributed by Daniel Bauer and Matthew Canver of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Addgene is proud to present a video reprint of the CRISPR article "Generation of Genomic Deletions in Mammalian Cell Lines via CRISPR/Cas9" from the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE). The video publication by Stuart Orkin and Daniel Bauer's labs details the use of CRISPR/Cas9 to create genomic deletions in mammalian cell lines. Below Bauer and Canver discuss the motivations behind this research.

 

Using CRISPR/Cas9 for Targeted Genomic Deletions

We were inspired to produce intrachromosomal deletions based on the experiments of Kim and colleagues using zinc finger nucleases to harness non-homologous end joining repair (NHEJ) [1]. Our initial work was with TALENs, in collaboration with the Porteus lab [2]. With the advent of CRISPR/Cas9, we began to explore the paired double-strand break (DSB) approach at a variety of loci. We were pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the method. One observation was an inverse relationship between deletion size and frequency [3].

Read More >

Topics: Genome Engineering, Lab Tips, CRISPR, Protocols

Trends in CRISPR and SynBio Technologies [Slideshare]

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Feb 4, 2015 10:58:00 AM

Addgenie Eric Perkins attended the recent Keystone Meeting "Precision Genome Engineering and Synthetic Biology". His reflections on the program are here. This was a great opportunity for Addgene to present our own data on plasmid deposits and distirbution for these fast moving fields. 

Addgene is a global nonprofit plasmid repository. Over 2,000 labs have deposited plasmids to Addgene and we distribute over 130,000 plasmids in 2014. Thus, we are in a unique position to observe and quantify how new technologies are being disseminated through the scientific community.

Read More >

Topics: Hot Plasmids, Genome Engineering, Inside Addgene, Synthetic Biology, CRISPR

Blog Logo Vertical-01.png
Click here to subscribe to the Addgene Blog
 
Subscribe