Research Papers:

Optimized guide RNA structure for genome editing via Cas9

Jianyong Xu _, Wei Lian, Yuning Jia, Lingyun Li and Zhong Huang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:94166-94171. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21607

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Jianyong Xu1,2, Wei Lian1,2, Yuning Jia1,2, Lingyun Li1,2 and Zhong Huang1,2

1Institute of Biological Therapy, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, P.R. China

2Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Jianyong Xu, email: [email protected]

Zhong Huang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: RNA guided endonuclease, genome editing, Cas9, guide RNA, gRNA

Received: August 09, 2017    Accepted: August 28, 2017    Published: October 07, 2017


The genome editing tool Cas9-gRNA (guide RNA) has been successfully applied in different cell types and organisms with high efficiency. However, more efforts need to be made to enhance both efficiency and specificity. In the current study, we optimized the guide RNA structure of Streptococcus pyogenes CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)/Cas (CRISPR-associated) system to improve its genome editing efficiency. Comparing with the original functional structure of guide RNA, which is composed of crRNA and tracrRNA, the widely used chimeric gRNA has shorter crRNA and tracrRNA sequence. The deleted RNA sequence could form extra loop structure, which might enhance the stability of the guide RNA structure and subsequently the genome editing efficiency. Thus the genome editing efficiency of different forms of guide RNA was tested. And we found that the chimeric structure of gRNA with original full length of crRNA and tracrRNA showed higher genome editing efficiency than the conventional chimeric structure or other types of gRNA we tested. Therefore our data here uncovered the new type of gRNA structure with higher genome editing efficiency.

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