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PLoS One. 2015 Mar 5;10(3):e0119372. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119372. eCollection 2015.

CRISPR multitargeter: a web tool to find common and unique CRISPR single guide RNA targets in a set of similar sequences.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
2
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
3
Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Abstract

Genome engineering has been revolutionized by the discovery of clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated system genes (Cas) in bacteria. The type IIB Streptococcus pyogenes CRISPR/Cas9 system functions in many species and additional types of CRISPR/Cas systems are under development. In the type II system, expression of CRISPR single guide RNA (sgRNA) targeting a defined sequence and Cas9 generates a sequence-specific nuclease inducing small deletions or insertions. Moreover, knock-in of large DNA inserts has been shown at the sites targeted by sgRNAs and Cas9. Several tools are available for designing sgRNAs that target unique locations in the genome. However, the ability to find sgRNA targets common to several similar sequences or, by contrast, unique to each of these sequences, would also be advantageous. To provide such a tool for several types of CRISPR/Cas system and many species, we developed the CRISPR MultiTargeter software. Similar DNA sequences in question are duplicated genes and sets of exons of different transcripts of a gene. Thus, we implemented a basic sgRNA target search of input sequences for single-sgRNA and two-sgRNA/Cas9 nickase targeting, as well as common and unique sgRNA target searches in 1) a set of input sequences; 2) a set of similar genes or transcripts; or 3) transcripts a single gene. We demonstrate potential uses of the program by identifying unique isoform-specific sgRNA sites in 71% of zebrafish alternative transcripts and common sgRNA target sites in approximately 40% of zebrafish duplicated gene pairs. The design of unique targets in alternative exons is helpful because it will facilitate functional genomic studies of transcript isoforms. Similarly, its application to duplicated genes may simplify multi-gene mutational targeting experiments. Overall, this program provides a unique interface that will enhance use of CRISPR/Cas technology.

PMID:
25742428
PMCID:
PMC4351176
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0119372
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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