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Annu Rev Microbiol. 2010;64:475-93. doi: 10.1146/annurev.micro.112408.134123.

CRISPR/Cas system and its role in phage-bacteria interactions.

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Département de Biochimie, Microbiologie et Bio-informatique, Faculté des Sciences et de Génie, Groupe de Recherche en Ecologie Buccale, Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, G1V 0A6, Canada.


Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) along with Cas proteins is a widespread system across bacteria and archaea that causes interference against foreign nucleic acids. The CRISPR/Cas system acts in at least two general stages: the adaptation stage, where the cell acquires new spacer sequences derived from foreign DNA, and the interference stage, which uses the recently acquired spacers to target and cleave invasive nucleic acid. The CRISPR/Cas system participates in a constant evolutionary battle between phages and bacteria through addition or deletion of spacers in host cells and mutations or deletion in phage genomes. This review describes the recent progress made in this fast-expanding field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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