In an article published in Molecular Cell, researchers from the laboratory of Dr. Yan Zhang report their development of novel miniature CRISPR-Cas3 gene editors for targeted large-scale genome manipulation in human cells. As part of this work they discovered a "hidden" bacterial internal translation product, Cas11—a previously overlooked but essential component of the CRISPR-Cas3 machinery from bacteria species like Neisseria lactamica. In human cells Cas11 serves as the key enabler to implement a set of evolutionarily divergent CRISPR-Cas3 editors with favorable features including high efficiency, distinct PAM preferences, and ease of manufacturing as ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. Findings from this paper pave the way for applying CRISPR-Cas3 to dissect regulatory elements and structural variants that impact human diseases. Ph.D. student Renke Tan and master's student Ryan Krueger are the paper’s first authors, and Dr. Yan Zhang and Dr. Zhonggang Hou are the corresponding authors.
January 20, 2022
The Yan Zhang lab publishes a research paper in Molecular Cell
Cas11 enables genome engineering in human cells with compact CRISPR-Cas3