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Methods Enzymol. 2014;546:161-74. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-801185-0.00008-8.

Genome editing using Cas9 nickases.

Author information

1
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
2
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address: zhang@broadinstitute.org.

Abstract

The RNA-guided, sequence-specific endonuclease Cas9 has been widely adopted as genome engineering tool due to its efficiency and ease of use. Derived from the microbial CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) type II adaptive immune system, Cas9 has now been successfully engineered for genome editing applications in a variety of animal and plant species. To reduce potential off-target mutagenesis by wild-type Cas9, homology- and structure-guided mutagenesis of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 catalytic domains has produced "nicking" enzymes (Cas9n) capable of inducing single-strand nicks rather than double-strand breaks. Since nicks are generally repaired with high fidelity in eukaryotic cells, Cas9n can be leveraged to mediate highly specific genome editing, either via nonhomologous end-joining or homology-directed repair. Here we describe the preparation, testing, and application of Cas9n reagents for precision mammalian genome engineering.

KEYWORDS:

CRISPR; Cas9; Gene targeting; Genome editing; Nucleases

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