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Sample records for crispr spacer matches

  1. Heterogeneous diversity of spacers within CRISPR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deem, Michael; He, Jiankui

    2011-03-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in bacterial and archaeal DNA have recently been shown to be a new type of anti-viral immune system in these organisms. We here study the diversity of spacers in CRISPR under selective pressure. We propose a population dynamics model that explains the biological observation that the leader-proximal end of CRISPR is more diversified and the leader-distal end of CRISPR is more conserved. This result is shown to be in agreement with recent experiments. Our results show that the CRISPR spacer structure is influenced by and provides a record of the viral challenges that bacteria face. 1) J. He and M. W. Deem, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105 (2010) 128102

  2. Molecular recordings by directed CRISPR spacer acquisition.

    PubMed

    Shipman, Seth L; Nivala, Jeff; Macklis, Jeffrey D; Church, George M

    2016-07-29

    The ability to write a stable record of identified molecular events into a specific genomic locus would enable the examination of long cellular histories and have many applications, ranging from developmental biology to synthetic devices. We show that the type I-E CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas system of Escherichia coli can mediate acquisition of defined pieces of synthetic DNA. We harnessed this feature to generate records of specific DNA sequences into a population of bacterial genomes. We then applied directed evolution so as to alter the recognition of a protospacer adjacent motif by the Cas1-Cas2 complex, which enabled recording in two modes simultaneously. We used this system to reveal aspects of spacer acquisition, fundamental to the CRISPR-Cas adaptation process. These results lay the foundations of a multimodal intracellular recording device.

  3. Molecular recordings by directed CRISPR spacer acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Shipman, Seth L; Nivala, Jeff; Macklis, Jeffrey D; Church, George M

    2016-01-01

    The ability to write a stable record of identified molecular events into a specific genomic locus would enable the examination of long cellular histories and have many applications, ranging from developmental biology to synthetic devices. We show that the type I-E CRISPR-Cas system of E. coli can mediate acquisition of defined pieces of synthetic DNA. We harnessed this feature to generate records of specific DNA sequences into a population of bacterial genomes. We then applied directed evolution to alter the recognition of a protospacer adjacent motif by the Cas1-Cas2 complex, which enabled recording in two modes simultaneously. We used this system to reveal aspects of spacer acquisition, fundamental to the CRISPR-Cas adaptation process. These results lay the foundations of a multimodal intracellular recording device. PMID:27284167

  4. The CRISPR Spacer Space Is Dominated by Sequences from Species-Specific Mobilomes.

    PubMed

    Shmakov, Sergey A; Sitnik, Vassilii; Makarova, Kira S; Wolf, Yuri I; Severinov, Konstantin V; Koonin, Eugene V

    2017-09-19

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated protein (CRISPR-Cas) systems store the memory of past encounters with foreign DNA in unique spacers that are inserted between direct repeats in CRISPR arrays. For only a small fraction of the spacers, homologous sequences, called protospacers, are detectable in viral, plasmid, and microbial genomes. The rest of the spacers remain the CRISPR "dark matter." We performed a comprehensive analysis of the spacers from all CRISPR-cas loci identified in bacterial and archaeal genomes, and we found that, depending on the CRISPR-Cas subtype and the prokaryotic phylum, protospacers were detectable for 1% to about 19% of the spacers (~7% global average). Among the detected protospacers, the majority, typically 80 to 90%, originated from viral genomes, including proviruses, and among the rest, the most common source was genes that are integrated into microbial chromosomes but are involved in plasmid conjugation or replication. Thus, almost all spacers with identifiable protospacers target mobile genetic elements (MGE). The GC content, as well as dinucleotide and tetranucleotide compositions, of microbial genomes, their spacer complements, and the cognate viral genomes showed a nearly perfect correlation and were almost identical. Given the near absence of self-targeting spacers, these findings are most compatible with the possibility that the spacers, including the dark matter, are derived almost completely from the species-specific microbial mobilomes.IMPORTANCE The principal function of CRISPR-Cas systems is thought to be protection of bacteria and archaea against viruses and other parasitic genetic elements. The CRISPR defense function is mediated by sequences from parasitic elements, known as spacers, that are inserted into CRISPR arrays and then transcribed and employed as guides to identify and inactivate the cognate parasitic genomes. However, only a small fraction of the CRISPR spacers match

  5. Dynamics of Escherichia coli type I-E CRISPR spacers over 42 000 years.

    PubMed

    Savitskaya, Ekaterina; Lopatina, Anna; Medvedeva, Sofia; Kapustin, Mikhail; Shmakov, Sergey; Tikhonov, Alexey; Artamonova, Irena I; Logacheva, Maria; Severinov, Konstantin

    2016-12-20

    CRISPR-Cas are nucleic acid-based prokaryotic immune systems. CRISPR arrays accumulate spacers from foreign DNA and provide resistance to mobile genetic elements containing identical or similar sequences. Thus, the set of spacers present in a given bacterium can be regarded as a record of encounters of its ancestors with genetic invaders. Such records should be specific for different lineages and change with time, as earlier acquired spacers get obsolete and are lost. Here, we studied type I-E CRISPR spacers of Escherichia coli from extinct pachyderm. We find that many spacers recovered from intestines of a 42 000-year-old mammoth match spacers of present-day E. coli. Present-day CRISPR arrays can be reconstructed from palaeo sequences, indicating that the order of spacers has also been preserved. The results suggest that E. coli CRISPR arrays were not subject to intensive change through adaptive acquisition during this time.

  6. Bioinformatics analyses of Shigella CRISPR structure and spacer classification.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pengfei; Zhang, Bing; Duan, Guangcai; Wang, Yingfang; Hong, Lijuan; Wang, Linlin; Guo, Xiangjiao; Xi, Yuanlin; Yang, Haiyan

    2016-03-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are inheritable genetic elements of a variety of archaea and bacteria and indicative of the bacterial ecological adaptation, conferring acquired immunity against invading foreign nucleic acids. Shigella is an important pathogen for anthroponosis. This study aimed to analyze the features of Shigella CRISPR structure and classify the spacers through bioinformatics approach. Among 107 Shigella, 434 CRISPR structure loci were identified with two to seven loci in different strains. CRISPR-Q1, CRISPR-Q4 and CRISPR-Q5 were widely distributed in Shigella strains. Comparison of the first and last repeats of CRISPR1, CRISPR2 and CRISPR3 revealed several base variants and different stem-loop structures. A total of 259 cas genes were found among these 107 Shigella strains. The cas gene deletions were discovered in 88 strains. However, there is one strain that does not contain cas gene. Intact clusters of cas genes were found in 19 strains. From comprehensive analysis of sequence signature and BLAST and CRISPRTarget score, the 708 spacers were classified into three subtypes: Type I, Type II and Type III. Of them, Type I spacer referred to those linked with one gene segment, Type II spacer linked with two or more different gene segments, and Type III spacer undefined. This study examined the diversity of CRISPR/cas system in Shigella strains, demonstrated the main features of CRISPR structure and spacer classification, which provided critical information for elucidation of the mechanisms of spacer formation and exploration of the role the spacers play in the function of the CRISPR/cas system.

  7. Pervasive generation of oppositely oriented spacers during CRISPR adaptation.

    PubMed

    Shmakov, Sergey; Savitskaya, Ekaterina; Semenova, Ekaterina; Logacheva, Maria D; Datsenko, Kirill A; Severinov, Konstantin

    2014-05-01

    During the process of prokaryotic CRISPR adaptation, a copy of a segment of foreign deoxyribonucleic acid referred to as protospacer is added to the CRISPR cassette and becomes a spacer. When a protospacer contains a neighboring target interference motif, the specific small CRISPR ribonucleic acid (crRNA) transcribed from expanded CRISPR cassette can protect a prokaryotic cell from virus infection or plasmid transformation and conjugation. We show that in Escherichia coli, a vast majority of plasmid protospacers generate spacers integrated in CRISPR cassette in two opposing orientations, leading to frequent appearance of complementary spacer pairs in a population of cells that underwent CRISPR adaptation. When a protospacer contains a spacer acquisition motif AAG, spacer orientation that generates functional protective crRNA is strongly preferred. All other protospacers give rise to spacers oriented in both ways at comparable frequencies. This phenomenon increases the repertoire of available spacers and should make it more likely that a protective crRNA is formed as a result of CRISPR adaptation.

  8. CRISPR interference and priming varies with individual spacer sequences.

    PubMed

    Xue, Chaoyou; Seetharam, Arun S; Musharova, Olga; Severinov, Konstantin; Brouns, Stan J J; Severin, Andrew J; Sashital, Dipali G

    2015-12-15

    CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR associated) systems allow bacteria to adapt to infection by acquiring 'spacer' sequences from invader DNA into genomic CRISPR loci. Cas proteins use RNAs derived from these loci to target cognate sequences for destruction through CRISPR interference. Mutations in the protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) and seed regions block interference but promote rapid 'primed' adaptation. Here, we use multiple spacer sequences to reexamine the PAM and seed sequence requirements for interference and priming in the Escherichia coli Type I-E CRISPR-Cas system. Surprisingly, CRISPR interference is far more tolerant of mutations in the seed and the PAM than previously reported, and this mutational tolerance, as well as priming activity, is highly dependent on spacer sequence. We identify a large number of functional PAMs that can promote interference, priming or both activities, depending on the associated spacer sequence. Functional PAMs are preferentially acquired during unprimed 'naïve' adaptation, leading to a rapid priming response following infection. Our results provide numerous insights into the importance of both spacer and target sequences for interference and priming, and reveal that priming is a major pathway for adaptation during initial infection.

  9. On the Origin of Reverse Transcriptase-Using CRISPR-Cas Systems and Their Hyperdiverse, Enigmatic Spacer Repertoires

    PubMed Central

    Silas, Sukrit; Makarova, Kira S.; Shmakov, Sergey; Páez-Espino, David; Mohr, Georg; Liu, Yi; Davison, Michelle; Roux, Simon; Krishnamurthy, Siddharth R.; Fu, Becky Xu Hua; Hansen, Loren L.; Wang, David; Sullivan, Matthew B.; Millard, Andrew; Clokie, Martha R.; Bhaya, Devaki; Lambowitz, Alan M.; Kyrpides, Nikos C.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cas1 integrase is the key enzyme of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas adaptation module that mediates acquisition of spacers derived from foreign DNA by CRISPR arrays. In diverse bacteria, the cas1 gene is fused (or adjacent) to a gene encoding a reverse transcriptase (RT) related to group II intron RTs. An RT-Cas1 fusion protein has been recently shown to enable acquisition of CRISPR spacers from RNA. Phylogenetic analysis of the CRISPR-associated RTs demonstrates monophyly of the RT-Cas1 fusion, and coevolution of the RT and Cas1 domains. Nearly all such RTs are present within type III CRISPR-Cas loci, but their phylogeny does not parallel the CRISPR-Cas type classification, indicating that RT-Cas1 is an autonomous functional module that is disseminated by horizontal gene transfer and can function with diverse type III systems. To compare the sequence pools sampled by RT-Cas1-associated and RT-lacking CRISPR-Cas systems, we obtained samples of a commercially grown cyanobacterium—Arthrospira platensis. Sequencing of the CRISPR arrays uncovered a highly diverse population of spacers. Spacer diversity was particularly striking for the RT-Cas1-containing type III-B system, where no saturation was evident even with millions of sequences analyzed. In contrast, analysis of the RT-lacking type III-D system yielded a highly diverse pool but reached a point where fewer novel spacers were recovered as sequencing depth was increased. Matches could be identified for a small fraction of the non-RT-Cas1-associated spacers, and for only a single RT-Cas1-associated spacer. Thus, the principal source(s) of the spacers, particularly the hypervariable spacer repertoire of the RT-associated arrays, remains unknown. PMID:28698278

  10. CRISPR interference and priming varies with individual spacer sequences

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Chaoyou; Seetharam, Arun S.; Musharova, Olga; Severinov, Konstantin; J. Brouns, Stan J.; Severin, Andrew J.; Sashital, Dipali G.

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR–Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR associated) systems allow bacteria to adapt to infection by acquiring ‘spacer’ sequences from invader DNA into genomic CRISPR loci. Cas proteins use RNAs derived from these loci to target cognate sequences for destruction through CRISPR interference. Mutations in the protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) and seed regions block interference but promote rapid ‘primed’ adaptation. Here, we use multiple spacer sequences to reexamine the PAM and seed sequence requirements for interference and priming in the Escherichia coli Type I-E CRISPR–Cas system. Surprisingly, CRISPR interference is far more tolerant of mutations in the seed and the PAM than previously reported, and this mutational tolerance, as well as priming activity, is highly dependent on spacer sequence. We identify a large number of functional PAMs that can promote interference, priming or both activities, depending on the associated spacer sequence. Functional PAMs are preferentially acquired during unprimed ‘naïve’ adaptation, leading to a rapid priming response following infection. Our results provide numerous insights into the importance of both spacer and target sequences for interference and priming, and reveal that priming is a major pathway for adaptation during initial infection. PMID:26586800

  11. Priming in the Type I-F CRISPR-Cas system triggers strand-independent spacer acquisition, bi-directionally from the primed protospacer

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Corinna; Dy, Ron L.; McKenzie, Rebecca E.; Watson, Bridget N.J.; Taylor, Corinda; Chang, James T.; McNeil, Matthew B.; Staals, Raymond H.J.; Fineran, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), in combination with CRISPR associated (cas) genes, constitute CRISPR-Cas bacterial adaptive immune systems. To generate immunity, these systems acquire short sequences of nucleic acids from foreign invaders and incorporate these into their CRISPR arrays as spacers. This adaptation process is the least characterized step in CRISPR-Cas immunity. Here, we used Pectobacterium atrosepticum to investigate adaptation in Type I-F CRISPR-Cas systems. Pre-existing spacers that matched plasmids stimulated hyperactive primed acquisition and resulted in the incorporation of up to nine new spacers across all three native CRISPR arrays. Endogenous expression of the cas genes was sufficient, yet required, for priming. The new spacers inhibited conjugation and transformation, and interference was enhanced with increasing numbers of new spacers. We analyzed ∼350 new spacers acquired in priming events and identified a 5′-protospacer-GG-3′ protospacer adjacent motif. In contrast to priming in Type I-E systems, new spacers matched either plasmid strand and a biased distribution, including clustering near the primed protospacer, suggested a bi-directional translocation model for the Cas1:Cas2–3 adaptation machinery. Taken together these results indicate priming adaptation occurs in different CRISPR-Cas systems, that it can be highly active in wild-type strains and that the underlying mechanisms vary. PMID:24990370

  12. Priming in the Type I-F CRISPR-Cas system triggers strand-independent spacer acquisition, bi-directionally from the primed protospacer.

    PubMed

    Richter, Corinna; Dy, Ron L; McKenzie, Rebecca E; Watson, Bridget N J; Taylor, Corinda; Chang, James T; McNeil, Matthew B; Staals, Raymond H J; Fineran, Peter C

    2014-07-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), in combination with CRISPR associated (cas) genes, constitute CRISPR-Cas bacterial adaptive immune systems. To generate immunity, these systems acquire short sequences of nucleic acids from foreign invaders and incorporate these into their CRISPR arrays as spacers. This adaptation process is the least characterized step in CRISPR-Cas immunity. Here, we used Pectobacterium atrosepticum to investigate adaptation in Type I-F CRISPR-Cas systems. Pre-existing spacers that matched plasmids stimulated hyperactive primed acquisition and resulted in the incorporation of up to nine new spacers across all three native CRISPR arrays. Endogenous expression of the cas genes was sufficient, yet required, for priming. The new spacers inhibited conjugation and transformation, and interference was enhanced with increasing numbers of new spacers. We analyzed ∼ 350 new spacers acquired in priming events and identified a 5'-protospacer-GG-3' protospacer adjacent motif. In contrast to priming in Type I-E systems, new spacers matched either plasmid strand and a biased distribution, including clustering near the primed protospacer, suggested a bi-directional translocation model for the Cas1:Cas2-3 adaptation machinery. Taken together these results indicate priming adaptation occurs in different CRISPR-Cas systems, that it can be highly active in wild-type strains and that the underlying mechanisms vary.

  13. Diversity in a Polymicrobial Community Revealed by Analysis of Viromes, Endolysins and CRISPR Spacers.

    PubMed

    Davison, Michelle; Treangen, Todd J; Koren, Sergey; Pop, Mihai; Bhaya, Devaki

    2016-01-01

    The polymicrobial biofilm communities in Mushroom and Octopus Spring in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are well characterized, yet little is known about the phage populations. Dominant species, Synechococcus sp. JA-2-3B'a(2-13), Synechococcus sp. JA-3-3Ab, Chloroflexus sp. Y-400-fl, and Roseiflexus sp. RS-1, contain multiple CRISPR-Cas arrays, suggesting complex interactions with phage predators. To analyze phage populations from Octopus Spring biofilms, we sequenced a viral enriched fraction. To assemble and analyze phage metagenomic data, we developed a custom module, VIRITAS, implemented within the MetAMOS framework. This module bins contigs into groups based on tetranucleotide frequencies and CRISPR spacer-protospacer matching and ORF calling. Using this pipeline we were able to assemble phage sequences into contigs and bin them into three clusters that corroborated with their potential host range. The virome contained 52,348 predicted ORFs; some were clearly phage-like; 9319 ORFs had a recognizable Pfam domain while the rest were hypothetical. Of the recognized domains with CRISPR spacer matches, was the phage endolysin used by lytic phage to disrupt cells. Analysis of the endolysins present in the thermophilic cyanophage contigs revealed a subset of characterized endolysins as well as a Glyco_hydro_108 (PF05838) domain not previously associated with sequenced cyanophages. A search for CRISPR spacer matches to all identified phage endolysins demonstrated that a majority of endolysin domains were targets. This strategy provides a general way to link host and phage as endolysins are known to be widely distributed in bacteriophage. Endolysins can also provide information about host cell wall composition and have the additional potential to be used as targets for novel therapeutics.

  14. Diversity in a Polymicrobial Community Revealed by Analysis of Viromes, Endolysins and CRISPR Spacers

    PubMed Central

    Treangen, Todd J.; Koren, Sergey; Pop, Mihai; Bhaya, Devaki

    2016-01-01

    The polymicrobial biofilm communities in Mushroom and Octopus Spring in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are well characterized, yet little is known about the phage populations. Dominant species, Synechococcus sp. JA-2-3B'a(2–13), Synechococcus sp. JA-3-3Ab, Chloroflexus sp. Y-400-fl, and Roseiflexus sp. RS-1, contain multiple CRISPR-Cas arrays, suggesting complex interactions with phage predators. To analyze phage populations from Octopus Spring biofilms, we sequenced a viral enriched fraction. To assemble and analyze phage metagenomic data, we developed a custom module, VIRITAS, implemented within the MetAMOS framework. This module bins contigs into groups based on tetranucleotide frequencies and CRISPR spacer-protospacer matching and ORF calling. Using this pipeline we were able to assemble phage sequences into contigs and bin them into three clusters that corroborated with their potential host range. The virome contained 52,348 predicted ORFs; some were clearly phage-like; 9319 ORFs had a recognizable Pfam domain while the rest were hypothetical. Of the recognized domains with CRISPR spacer matches, was the phage endolysin used by lytic phage to disrupt cells. Analysis of the endolysins present in the thermophilic cyanophage contigs revealed a subset of characterized endolysins as well as a Glyco_hydro_108 (PF05838) domain not previously associated with sequenced cyanophages. A search for CRISPR spacer matches to all identified phage endolysins demonstrated that a majority of endolysin domains were targets. This strategy provides a general way to link host and phage as endolysins are known to be widely distributed in bacteriophage. Endolysins can also provide information about host cell wall composition and have the additional potential to be used as targets for novel therapeutics. PMID:27611571

  15. CRP represses the CRISPR/Cas system in Escherichia coli: evidence that endogenous CRISPR spacers impede phage P1 replication.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chi-Dung; Chen, Yen-Hua; Huang, Hsi-Yuan; Huang, Hsien-Da; Tseng, Ching-Ping

    2014-06-01

    The CRISPR/Cas system is an important aspect in bacterial immunology. The anti-phage activity of the CRISPR system has been established using synthetic CRISPR spacers, but in vivo studies of endogenous CRISPR spacers are relatively scarce. Here, we showed that bacteriophage P1 titre in Escherichia coli decreased in the glucose-containing medium compared with that in the absence of glucose. This glucose effect of E. coli against phage P1 infection disappeared in cse3 deletion mutants. The effect on the susceptibility to phage P1 was associated with cAMP receptor protein (CRP)-mediated repression of cas genes transcription and crRNA maturation. Analysis of the regulatory element in the cse1 promoter region revealed a novel CRP binding site, which overlapped with a LeuO binding site. Furthermore, the limited sequence identity between endogenous spacers and the phage P1 genome was necessary and sufficient for CRISPR-mediated repression of phage P1 replication. Trans-expression of the third and seventh spacers in the CRISPR I region or third and sixth spacers in the CRISPR II region effectively reduced phage P1 titres in the CRISPR deletion mutants. These results demonstrate a novel regulatory mechanism for cas repression by CRP and provide evidence that endogenous spacers can repress phage P1 replication in E. coli.

  16. Heterogeneous diversity of spacers within CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats).

    PubMed

    He, Jiankui; Deem, Michael W

    2010-09-17

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in bacterial and archaeal DNA have recently been shown to be a new type of antiviral immune system in these organisms. We here study the diversity of spacers in CRISPR under selective pressure. We propose a population dynamics model that explains the biological observation that the leader-proximal end of CRISPR is more diversified and the leader-distal end of CRISPR is more conserved. This result is shown to be in agreement with recent experiments. Our results show that the CRISPR spacer structure is influenced by and provides a record of the viral challenges that bacteria face.

  17. Heterogeneous Diversity of Spacers within CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jiankui; Deem, Michael W.

    2010-09-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in bacterial and archaeal DNA have recently been shown to be a new type of antiviral immune system in these organisms. We here study the diversity of spacers in CRISPR under selective pressure. We propose a population dynamics model that explains the biological observation that the leader-proximal end of CRISPR is more diversified and the leader-distal end of CRISPR is more conserved. This result is shown to be in agreement with recent experiments. Our results show that the CRISPR spacer structure is influenced by and provides a record of the viral challenges that bacteria face.

  18. The CRISPR Spacer Space Is Dominated by Sequences from Species-Specific Mobilomes

    PubMed Central

    Shmakov, Sergey A.; Sitnik, Vassilii; Makarova, Kira S.; Wolf, Yuri I.; Severinov, Konstantin V.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated protein (CRISPR-Cas) systems store the memory of past encounters with foreign DNA in unique spacers that are inserted between direct repeats in CRISPR arrays. For only a small fraction of the spacers, homologous sequences, called protospacers, are detectable in viral, plasmid, and microbial genomes. The rest of the spacers remain the CRISPR “dark matter.” We performed a comprehensive analysis of the spacers from all CRISPR-cas loci identified in bacterial and archaeal genomes, and we found that, depending on the CRISPR-Cas subtype and the prokaryotic phylum, protospacers were detectable for 1% to about 19% of the spacers (~7% global average). Among the detected protospacers, the majority, typically 80 to 90%, originated from viral genomes, including proviruses, and among the rest, the most common source was genes that are integrated into microbial chromosomes but are involved in plasmid conjugation or replication. Thus, almost all spacers with identifiable protospacers target mobile genetic elements (MGE). The GC content, as well as dinucleotide and tetranucleotide compositions, of microbial genomes, their spacer complements, and the cognate viral genomes showed a nearly perfect correlation and were almost identical. Given the near absence of self-targeting spacers, these findings are most compatible with the possibility that the spacers, including the dark matter, are derived almost completely from the species-specific microbial mobilomes. PMID:28928211

  19. CRISPRs of Enterococcus faecalis and E. hirae isolates from pig feces have species-specific repeats but share some common spacer sequences.

    PubMed

    Katyal, Isha; Chaban, Bonnie; Ng, Beata; Hill, Janet E

    2013-07-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are currently a topic of interest in microbiology due to their role as a prokaryotic immune system. Investigations of CRISPR distribution and characterization to date have focused on pathogenic bacteria, while less is known about CRISPR in commensal bacteria, where they may have a significant role in the ecology of the microbiota of humans and other animals, and act as a recorder of interactions between bacteria and viruses. A combination of PCR and sequencing was used to determine prevalence and distribution of CRISPR arrays in Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus hirae isolates from the feces of healthy pigs. Both type II CRISPR-Cas and Orphan CRISPR (without Cas genes) were detected in the 195 isolates examined. CRISPR-Cas was detected in 52 (46/88) and 42 % (45/107) E. faecalis and E. hirae isolates, respectively. The prevalence of Orphan CRISPR arrays was higher in E. faecalis isolates (95 %, 84/88) compared with E. hirae isolates (49 %, 53/107). Species-specific repeat sequences were identified in Orphan CRISPR arrays, and 42 unique spacer sequences were identified. Only two spacers matched previously characterized pig virome sequences, and many were apparently derived from chromosomal sequences of enterococci. Surprisingly, 17 (40 %) of the spacers were detected in both species. Shared spacer sequences are evidence of a lack of species specificity in the agents and mechanisms responsible for integration of spacers, and the abundance of spacer sequences corresponding to bacterial chromosomal sequences reflects interspecific interactions within the intestinal microbiota.

  20. CRISPR Spacer Arrays for Detection of Viral Signatures from Acidic Hot Springs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, J. C.; Bateson, M. M.; Suciu, D.; Young, M. J.

    2010-04-01

    Viruses are the most abundant life-like entities on the planet Earth. Using CRISPR spacer sequences, we have developed a microarray-based approach to detecting viral signatures in the acidic hot springs of Yellowstone.

  1. Priming in a permissive type I-C CRISPR-Cas system reveals distinct dynamics of spacer acquisition and loss.

    PubMed

    Rao, Chitong; Chin, Denny; Ensminger, Alexander W

    2017-10-01

    CRISPR-Cas is a bacterial and archaeal adaptive immune system that uses short, invader-derived sequences termed spacers to target invasive nucleic acids. Upon recognition of previously encountered invaders, the system can stimulate secondary spacer acquisitions, a process known as primed adaptation. Previous studies of primed adaptation have been complicated by intrinsically high interference efficiency of most systems against bona fide targets. As such, most primed adaptation to date has been studied within the context of imperfect sequence complementarity between spacers and targets. Here, we take advantage of a native type I-C CRISPR-Cas system in Legionella pneumophila that displays robust primed adaptation even within the context of a perfectly matched target. Using next-generation sequencing to survey acquired spacers, we observe strand bias and positional preference that are consistent with a 3'-5' translocation of the adaptation machinery. We show that spacer acquisition happens in a wide range of frequencies across the plasmid, including a remarkable hotspot that predominates irrespective of the priming strand. We systematically characterize protospacer sequence constraints in both adaptation and interference and reveal extensive flexibilities regarding the protospacer adjacent motif in both processes. Lastly, in a strain with a genetically truncated CRISPR array, we observe increased interference efficiency, which, when coupled with forced maintenance of a targeted plasmid, provides a useful experimental system to study spacer loss. Based on these observations, we propose that the Legionella pneumophila type I-C system represents a powerful model to study primed adaptation and the interplay between CRISPR interference and adaptation. © 2017 Rao et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  2. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindrome repeats (CRISPRs) have spacers of extrachromosomal origin.

    PubMed

    Bolotin, Alexander; Quinquis, Benoit; Sorokin, Alexei; Ehrlich, S Dusko

    2005-08-01

    Numerous prokaryote genomes contain structures known as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs), composed of 25-50 bp repeats separated by unique sequence spacers of similar length. CRISPR structures are found in the vicinity of four genes named cas1 to cas4. In silico analysis revealed another cluster of three genes associated with CRISPR structures in many bacterial species, named here as cas1B, cas5 and cas6, and also revealed a certain number of spacers that have homology with extant genes, most frequently derived from phages, but also derived from other extrachromosomal elements. Sequence analysis of CRISPR structures from 24 strains of Streptococcus thermophilus and Streptococcus vestibularis confirmed the homology of spacers with extrachromosomal elements. Phage sensitivity of S. thermophilus strains appears to be correlated with the number of spacers in the CRISPR locus the strain carries. The authors suggest that the spacer elements are the traces of past invasions by extrachromosomal elements, and hypothesize that they provide the cell immunity against phage infection, and more generally foreign DNA expression, by coding an anti-sense RNA. The presence of gene fragments in CRISPR structures and the nuclease motifs in cas genes of both cluster types suggests that CRISPR formation involves a DNA degradation step.

  3. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindrome repeats (CRISPRs) have spacers of extrachromosomal origin.

    PubMed

    Bolotin, Alexander; Quinquis, Benoit; Sorokin, Alexei; Ehrlich, S Dusko

    2005-08-01

    Numerous prokaryote genomes contain structures known as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs), composed of 25-50 bp repeats separated by unique sequence spacers of similar length. CRISPR structures are found in the vicinity of four genes named cas1 to cas4. In silico analysis revealed another cluster of three genes associated with CRISPR structures in many bacterial species, named here as cas1B, cas5 and cas6, and also revealed a certain number of spacers that have homology with extant genes, most frequently derived from phages, but also derived from other extrachromosomal elements. Sequence analysis of CRISPR structures from 24 strains of Streptococcus thermophilus and Streptococcus vestibularis confirmed the homology of spacers with extrachromosomal elements. Phage sensitivity of S. thermophilus strains appears to be correlated with the number of spacers in the CRISPR locus the strain carries. The authors suggest that the spacer elements are the traces of past invasions by extrachromosomal elements, and hypothesize that they provide the cell immunity against phage infection, and more generally foreign DNA expression, by coding an anti-sense RNA. The presence of gene fragments in CRISPR structures and the nuclease motifs in cas genes of both cluster types suggests that CRISPR formation involves a DNA degradation step.

  4. Detection and characterization of spacer integration intermediates in type I-E CRISPR-Cas system.

    PubMed

    Arslan, Zihni; Hermanns, Veronica; Wurm, Reinhild; Wagner, Rolf; Pul, Ümit

    2014-07-01

    The adaptation against foreign nucleic acids by the CRISPR-Cas system (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and CRISPR-associated proteins) depends on the insertion of foreign nucleic acid-derived sequences into the CRISPR array as novel spacers by still unknown mechanism. We identified and characterized in Escherichia coli intermediate states of spacer integration and mapped the integration site at the chromosomal CRISPR array in vivo. The results show that the insertion of new spacers occurs by site-specific nicking at both strands of the leader proximal repeat in a staggered way and is accompanied by joining of the resulting 5'-ends of the repeat strands with the 3'-ends of the incoming spacer. This concerted cleavage-ligation reaction depends on the metal-binding center of Cas1 protein and requires the presence of Cas2. By acquisition assays using plasmid-located CRISPR array with mutated repeat sequences, we demonstrate that the primary sequence of the first repeat is crucial for cleavage of the CRISPR array and the ligation of new spacer DNA.

  5. Integrase-mediated spacer acquisition during CRISPR-Cas adaptive immunity.

    PubMed

    Nuñez, James K; Lee, Amy S Y; Engelman, Alan; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2015-03-12

    Bacteria and archaea insert spacer sequences acquired from foreign DNAs into CRISPR loci to generate immunological memory. The Escherichia coli Cas1-Cas2 complex mediates spacer acquisition in vivo, but the molecular mechanism of this process is unknown. Here we show that the purified Cas1-Cas2 complex integrates oligonucleotide DNA substrates into acceptor DNA to yield products similar to those generated by retroviral integrases and transposases. Cas1 is the catalytic subunit and Cas2 substantially increases integration activity. Protospacer DNA with free 3'-OH ends and supercoiled target DNA are required, and integration occurs preferentially at the ends of CRISPR repeats and at sequences adjacent to cruciform structures abutting AT-rich regions, similar to the CRISPR leader sequence. Our results demonstrate the Cas1-Cas2 complex to be the minimal machinery that catalyses spacer DNA acquisition and explain the significance of CRISPR repeats in providing sequence and structural specificity for Cas1-Cas2-mediated adaptive immunity.

  6. MetaCRAST: reference-guided extraction of CRISPR spacers from unassembled metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Moller, Abraham G; Liang, Chun

    2017-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) systems are the adaptive immune systems of bacteria and archaea against viral infection. While CRISPRs have been exploited as a tool for genetic engineering, their spacer sequences can also provide valuable insights into microbial ecology by linking environmental viruses to their microbial hosts. Despite this importance, metagenomic CRISPR detection remains a major challenge. Here we present a reference-guided CRISPR spacer detection tool (Metagenomic CRISPR Reference-Aided Search Tool-MetaCRAST) that constrains searches based on user-specified direct repeats (DRs). These DRs could be expected from assembly or taxonomic profiles of metagenomes. We compared the performance of MetaCRAST to those of two existing metagenomic CRISPR detection tools-Crass and MinCED-using both real and simulated acid mine drainage (AMD) and enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) metagenomes. Our evaluation shows MetaCRAST improves CRISPR spacer detection in real metagenomes compared to the de novo CRISPR detection methods Crass and MinCED. Evaluation on simulated metagenomes show it performs better than de novo tools for Illumina metagenomes and comparably for 454 metagenomes. It also has comparable performance dependence on read length and community composition, run time, and accuracy to these tools. MetaCRAST is implemented in Perl, parallelizable through the Many Core Engine (MCE), and takes metagenomic sequence reads and direct repeat queries (FASTA or FASTQ) as input. It is freely available for download at https://github.com/molleraj/MetaCRAST.

  7. MetaCRAST: reference-guided extraction of CRISPR spacers from unassembled metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Moller, Abraham G.

    2017-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) systems are the adaptive immune systems of bacteria and archaea against viral infection. While CRISPRs have been exploited as a tool for genetic engineering, their spacer sequences can also provide valuable insights into microbial ecology by linking environmental viruses to their microbial hosts. Despite this importance, metagenomic CRISPR detection remains a major challenge. Here we present a reference-guided CRISPR spacer detection tool (Metagenomic CRISPR Reference-Aided Search Tool—MetaCRAST) that constrains searches based on user-specified direct repeats (DRs). These DRs could be expected from assembly or taxonomic profiles of metagenomes. We compared the performance of MetaCRAST to those of two existing metagenomic CRISPR detection tools—Crass and MinCED—using both real and simulated acid mine drainage (AMD) and enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) metagenomes. Our evaluation shows MetaCRAST improves CRISPR spacer detection in real metagenomes compared to the de novo CRISPR detection methods Crass and MinCED. Evaluation on simulated metagenomes show it performs better than de novo tools for Illumina metagenomes and comparably for 454 metagenomes. It also has comparable performance dependence on read length and community composition, run time, and accuracy to these tools. MetaCRAST is implemented in Perl, parallelizable through the Many Core Engine (MCE), and takes metagenomic sequence reads and direct repeat queries (FASTA or FASTQ) as input. It is freely available for download at https://github.com/molleraj/MetaCRAST. PMID:28894651

  8. Cas1-Cas2 complex formation mediates spacer acquisition during CRISPR-Cas adaptive immunity.

    PubMed

    Nuñez, James K; Kranzusch, Philip J; Noeske, Jonas; Wright, Addison V; Davies, Christopher W; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2014-06-01

    The initial stage of CRISPR-Cas immunity involves the integration of foreign DNA spacer segments into the host genomic CRISPR locus. The nucleases Cas1 and Cas2 are the only proteins conserved among all CRISPR-Cas systems, yet the molecular functions of these proteins during immunity are unknown. Here we show that Cas1 and Cas2 from Escherichia coli form a stable complex that is essential for spacer acquisition and determine the 2.3-Å-resolution crystal structure of the Cas1-Cas2 complex. Mutations that perturb Cas1-Cas2 complex formation disrupt CRISPR DNA recognition and spacer acquisition in vivo. Active site mutants of Cas2, unlike those of Cas1, can still acquire new spacers, thus indicating a nonenzymatic role of Cas2 during immunity. These results reveal the universal roles of Cas1 and Cas2 and suggest a mechanism by which Cas1-Cas2 complexes specify sites of CRISPR spacer integration.

  9. How type II CRISPR-Cas establish immunity through Cas1-Cas2-mediated spacer integration.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yibei; Ng, Sherwin; Nam, Ki Hyun; Ke, Ailong

    2017-09-04

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and the nearby cas (CRISPR-associated) operon establish an RNA-based adaptive immunity system in prokaryotes(1-5). Molecular memory is created when a short foreign DNA-derived prespacer is integrated into the CRISPR array as a new spacer(6-9). Whereas the RNA-guided CRISPR interference mechanism varies widely among CRISPR-Cas systems, the spacer integration mechanism is essentially identical(7-9). The conserved Cas1 and Cas2 proteins form an integrase complex consisting two distal Cas1 dimers bridged by a Cas2 dimer in the middle(6,10). The prespacer is bound by Cas1-Cas2 as a dual forked DNA, and the terminal 3'-OH of each 3'-overhang serves as an attacking nucleophile during integration(11-14). Importantly, the prespacer is preferentially integrated into the leader-proximal region of the CRISPR array(1,7,10,15), guided by the leader sequence and a pair of inverted repeats (IRs) inside the CRISPR repeat(7,15-20). Spacer integration in the most well-studied Escherichia coli Type I-E CRISPR system further relies on the bacterial Integration Host Factor (IHF)(21,22). In Type II-A CRISPR, however, Cas1-Cas2 alone integrates spacer efficiently in vitro(18); other Cas proteins (Cas9 and Csn2) play accessory roles in prespacer biogenesis(17,23). Focusing on the Enterococcus faecalis Type II-A system(24), here we report four structure snapshots of Cas1-Cas2 during spacer integration. EfaCas1-Cas2 selectively binds to a splayed 30-bp prespacer bearing 4-nt 3'-overhangs. Three molecular events take place upon encountering a target: Cas1-Cas2/prespacer first searches for half-sites stochastically, then preferentially interacts with the leader-side CRISPR repeat and catalyzes a nucleophilic attack that connects one strand of the leader-proximal repeat to the prespacer 3'-overhang. Recognition of the spacer half-site requires DNA bending and leads to full integration. We derive a mechanistic framework

  10. Direct CRISPR spacer acquisition from RNA by a natural reverse-transcriptase-Cas1 fusion protein

    PubMed Central

    Sidote, David J.; Markham, Laura M.; Sanchez-Amat, Antonio; Bhaya, Devaki; Lambowitz, Alan M.; Fire, Andrew Z.

    2016-01-01

    CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat) systems mediate adaptive immunity in diverse prokaryotes. CRISPR-associated Cas1 and Cas2 proteins have been shown to enable adaptation to new threats in Type I and II CRISPR systems by the acquisition of short segments of DNA (“spacers”) from invasive elements. In several Type III CRISPR systems, Cas1 is naturally fused to a reverse transcriptase (RT). In the marine bacterium Marinomonas mediterranea (MMB-1), we show that an RT-Cas1 fusion enables the acquisition of RNA spacers in vivo in an RT-dependent manner. In vitro, the MMB-1 RT-Cas1 and Cas2 proteins catalyze ligation of RNA segments into the CRISPR array, followed by reverse transcription. These observations outline a host-mediated mechanism for reverse information flow from RNA to DNA. PMID:26917774

  11. The CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex in Escherichia coli accommodates extended RNA spacers.

    PubMed

    Luo, Michelle L; Jackson, Ryan N; Denny, Steven R; Tokmina-Lukaszewska, Monika; Maksimchuk, Kenneth R; Lin, Wayne; Bothner, Brian; Wiedenheft, Blake; Beisel, Chase L

    2016-09-06

    Bacteria and archaea acquire resistance to foreign genetic elements by integrating fragments of foreign DNA into CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) loci. In Escherichia coli, CRISPR-derived RNAs (crRNAs) assemble with Cas proteins into a multi-subunit surveillance complex called Cascade (CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense). Cascade recognizes DNA targets via protein-mediated recognition of a protospacer adjacent motif and complementary base pairing between the crRNA spacer and the DNA target. Previously determined structures of Cascade showed that the crRNA is stretched along an oligomeric protein assembly, leading us to ask how crRNA length impacts the assembly and function of this complex. We found that extending the spacer portion of the crRNA resulted in larger Cascade complexes with altered stoichiometry and preserved in vitro binding affinity for target DNA. Longer spacers also preserved the in vivo ability of Cascade to repress target gene expression and to recruit the Cas3 endonuclease for target degradation. Finally, longer spacers exhibited enhanced silencing at particular target locations and were sensitive to mismatches within the extended region. These findings demonstrate the flexibility of the Type I-E CRISPR machinery and suggest that spacer length can be modified to fine-tune Cascade activity.

  12. The CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex in Escherichia coli accommodates extended RNA spacers

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Michelle L.; Jackson, Ryan N.; Denny, Steven R.; Tokmina-Lukaszewska, Monika; Maksimchuk, Kenneth R.; Lin, Wayne; Bothner, Brian; Wiedenheft, Blake; Beisel, Chase L.

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria and archaea acquire resistance to foreign genetic elements by integrating fragments of foreign DNA into CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) loci. In Escherichia coli, CRISPR-derived RNAs (crRNAs) assemble with Cas proteins into a multi-subunit surveillance complex called Cascade (CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense). Cascade recognizes DNA targets via protein-mediated recognition of a protospacer adjacent motif and complementary base pairing between the crRNA spacer and the DNA target. Previously determined structures of Cascade showed that the crRNA is stretched along an oligomeric protein assembly, leading us to ask how crRNA length impacts the assembly and function of this complex. We found that extending the spacer portion of the crRNA resulted in larger Cascade complexes with altered stoichiometry and preserved in vitro binding affinity for target DNA. Longer spacers also preserved the in vivo ability of Cascade to repress target gene expression and to recruit the Cas3 endonuclease for target degradation. Finally, longer spacers exhibited enhanced silencing at particular target locations and were sensitive to mismatches within the extended region. These findings demonstrate the flexibility of the Type I-E CRISPR machinery and suggest that spacer length can be modified to fine-tune Cascade activity. PMID:27174938

  13. The CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex in Escherichia coli accommodates extended RNA spacers

    DOE PAGES

    Luo, Michelle L.; Jackson, Ryan N.; Denny, Steven R.; ...

    2016-05-12

    Bacteria and archaea acquire resistance to foreign genetic elements by integrating fragments of foreign DNA into CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) loci. In Escherichia coli, CRISPR-derived RNAs (crRNAs) assemble with Cas proteins into a multi-subunit surveillance complex called Cascade (CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense). Cascade recognizes DNA targets via protein-mediated recognition of a protospacer adjacent motif and complementary base pairing between the crRNA spacer and the DNA target. Previously determined structures of Cascade showed that the crRNA is stretched along an oligomeric protein assembly, leading us to ask how crRNA length impacts the assembly and function of thismore » complex. We found that extending the spacer portion of the crRNA resulted in larger Cascade complexes with altered stoichiometry and preserved in vitro binding affinity for target DNA. Longer spacers also preserved the in vivo ability of Cascade to repress target gene expression and to recruit the Cas3 endonuclease for target degradation. Lastly, longer spacers exhibited enhanced silencing at particular target locations and were sensitive to mismatches within the extended region. These findings demonstrate the flexibility of the Type I-E CRISPR machinery and suggest that spacer length can be modified to fine-tune Cascade activity.« less

  14. High-throughput analysis of type I-E CRISPR/Cas spacer acquisition in E. coli.

    PubMed

    Savitskaya, Ekaterina; Semenova, Ekaterina; Dedkov, Vladimir; Metlitskaya, Anastasia; Severinov, Konstantin

    2013-05-01

    In Escherichia coli, the acquisition of new CRISPR spacers is strongly stimulated by a priming interaction between a spacer in CRISPR RNA and a protospacer in foreign DNA. Priming also leads to a pronounced bias in DNA strand from which new spacers are selected. Here, ca. 200,000 spacers acquired during E. coli type I-E CRISPR/Cas-driven plasmid elimination were analyzed. Analysis of positions of plasmid protospacers from which newly acquired spacers have been derived is inconsistent with spacer acquisition machinery sliding along the target DNA as the primary mechanism responsible for strand bias during primed spacer acquisition. Most protospacers that served as donors of newly acquired spacers during primed spacer acquisition had an AAG protospacer adjacent motif, PAM. Yet, the introduction of multiple AAG sequences in the target DNA had no effect on the choice of protospacers used for adaptation, which again is inconsistent with the sliding mechanism. Despite a strong preference for an AAG PAM during CRISPR adaptation, the AAG (and CTT) triplets do not appear to be avoided in known E. coli phages. Likewise, PAM sequences are not avoided in Streptococcus thermophilus phages, indicating that CRISPR/Cas systems may not have been a strong factor in shaping host-virus interactions.

  15. Mechanism of spacer integration links the CRISPR/Cas system to transposition as a form of mobile DNA.

    PubMed

    Dyda, Fred; Hickman, Alison B

    2015-01-01

    It has recently become clear that many bacterial and archaeal species possess adaptive immune systems. These are typified by multiple copies of DNA sequences known as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs). These CRISPR repeats are the sites at which short spacers containing sequences of previously encountered foreign DNA are integrated, and the spacers serve as the molecular memory of previous invaders. In vivo work has demonstrated that two CRISPR-associated proteins - Cas1 and Cas2 - are required for spacer integration, but the mechanism by which this is accomplished remained unclear. Here we review a recent paper describing the in vitro reconstitution of CRISPR spacer integration using purified Cas1 and Cas2 and place the results in context of similar DNA transposition reactions and the crystal structure of the Cas1/Cas2 complex.

  16. Detection and analysis of CRISPRs of Shigella.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiangjiao; Wang, Yingfang; Duan, Guangcai; Xue, Zerun; Wang, Linlin; Wang, Pengfei; Qiu, Shaofu; Xi, Yuanlin; Yang, Haiyan

    2015-01-01

    The recently discovered CRISPRs (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and Cas (CRISPR-associated) proteins are a novel genetic barrier that limits horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes and the CRISPR loci provide a historical view of the exposure of prokaryotes to a variety of foreign genetic elements. The aim of study was to investigate the occurrence and distribution of the CRISPRs in Shigella. A collection of 61 strains of Shigella were screened for the existence of CRISPRs. Three CRISPR loci were identified among 61 shigella strains. CRISPR1/cas loci are detected in 49 strains of shigella. Yet, IS elements were detected in cas gene in some strains. In the remaining 12 Shigella flexneri strains, the CRISPR1/cas locus is deleted and only a cas3' pseudo gene and a repeat sequence are present. The presence of CRISPR2 is frequently accompanied by the emergence of CRISPR1. CRISPR3 loci were present in almost all strains (52/61). The length of CRISPR arrays varied from 1 to 9 spacers. Sequence analysis of the CRISPR arrays revealed that few spacers had matches in the GenBank databases. However, one spacer in CRISPR3 loci matches the cognate cas3 genes and no cas gene was present around CRISPR3 region. Analysis of CRISPR sequences show that CRISPR have little change which makes CRISPR poor genotyping markers. The present study is the first attempt to determine and analyze CRISPRs of shigella isolated from clinical patients.

  17. CRISPR-spacer integration reporter plasmids reveal distinct genuine acquisition specificities among CRISPR-Cas I-E variants of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Díez-Villaseñor, César; Guzmán, Noemí M; Almendros, Cristóbal; García-Martínez, Jesús; Mojica, Francisco J M

    2013-05-01

    Prokaryotes immunize themselves against transmissible genetic elements by the integration (acquisition) in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci of spacers homologous to invader nucleic acids, defined as protospacers. Following acquisition, mono-spacer CRISPR RNAs (termed crRNAs) guide CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins to degrade (interference) protospacers flanked by an adjacent motif in extrachomosomal DNA. During acquisition, selection of spacer-precursors adjoining the protospacer motif and proper orientation of the integrated fragment with respect to the leader (sequence leading transcription of the flanking CRISPR array) grant efficient interference by at least some CRISPR-Cas systems. This adaptive stage of the CRISPR action is poorly characterized, mainly due to the lack of appropriate genetic strategies to address its study and, at least in Escherichia coli, the need of Cas overproduction for insertion detection. In this work, we describe the development and application in Escherichia coli strains of an interference-independent assay based on engineered selectable CRISPR-spacer integration reporter plasmids. By using this tool without the constraint of interference or cas overexpression, we confirmed fundamental aspects of this process such as the critical requirement of Cas1 and Cas2 and the identity of the CTT protospacer motif for the E. coli K12 system. In addition, we defined the CWT motif for a non-K12 CRISPR-Cas variant, and obtained data supporting the implication of the leader in spacer orientation, the preferred acquisition from plasmids harboring cas genes and the occurrence of a sequential cleavage at the insertion site by a ruler mechanism.

  18. CRISPR-spacer integration reporter plasmids reveal distinct genuine acquisition specificities among CRISPR-Cas I-E variants of Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Díez-Villaseñor, César; Guzmán, Noemí M.; Almendros, Cristóbal; García-Martínez, Jesús; Mojica, Francisco J.M.

    2013-01-01

    Prokaryotes immunize themselves against transmissible genetic elements by the integration (acquisition) in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci of spacers homologous to invader nucleic acids, defined as protospacers. Following acquisition, mono-spacer CRISPR RNAs (termed crRNAs) guide CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins to degrade (interference) protospacers flanked by an adjacent motif in extrachomosomal DNA. During acquisition, selection of spacer-precursors adjoining the protospacer motif and proper orientation of the integrated fragment with respect to the leader (sequence leading transcription of the flanking CRISPR array) grant efficient interference by at least some CRISPR-Cas systems. This adaptive stage of the CRISPR action is poorly characterized, mainly due to the lack of appropriate genetic strategies to address its study and, at least in Escherichia coli, the need of Cas overproduction for insertion detection. In this work, we describe the development and application in Escherichia coli strains of an interference-independent assay based on engineered selectable CRISPR-spacer integration reporter plasmids. By using this tool without the constraint of interference or cas overexpression, we confirmed fundamental aspects of this process such as the critical requirement of Cas1 and Cas2 and the identity of the CTT protospacer motif for the E. coli K12 system. In addition, we defined the CWT motif for a non-K12 CRISPR-Cas variant, and obtained data supporting the implication of the leader in spacer orientation, the preferred acquisition from plasmids harboring cas genes and the occurrence of a sequential cleavage at the insertion site by a ruler mechanism. PMID:23445770

  19. Campylobacter jejuni acquire new host-derived CRISPR spacers when in association with bacteriophages harboring a CRISPR-like Cas4 protein

    PubMed Central

    Hooton, Steven P. T.; Connerton, Ian F.

    2015-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is a worldwide cause of human diarrhoeal disease. Clustered Repetitively Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) and associated proteins allow Bacteria and Archaea to evade bacteriophage and plasmid infection. Type II CRISPR systems are found in association with combinations of genes encoding the CRISPR-associated Cas1, Cas2, Cas4 or Csn2, and Cas9 proteins. C. jejuni possesses a minimal subtype II-C CRISPR system containing cas1, cas2, and cas9 genes whilst cas4 is notably absent. Cas4 proteins possess 5′-3′ exonuclease activity to create recombinogenic-ends for spacer acquisition. Here we report a conserved Cas4-like protein in Campylobacter bacteriophages that creates a novel split arrangement between the bacteriophage and host that represents a new twist in the bacteriophage/host co-evolutionary arms race. The continuous association of bacteriophage and host in the carrier state life cycle of C. jejuni provided an opportunity to study spacer acquisition in this species. Remarkably all the spacer sequences observed were of host origin. We hypothesize that Campylobacter bacteriophages can use Cas4-like protein to activate spacer acquisition to use host DNA as an effective decoy to bacteriophage DNA. Bacteria that acquire self-spacers and escape phage infection must overcome CRISPR-mediated autoimmunity either by loss of the interference functions leaving them susceptible to foreign DNA incursion or tolerate changes in gene regulation. PMID:25601859

  20. Altered stoichiometry Escherichia coli Cascade complexes with shortened CRISPR RNA spacers are capable of interference and primed adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Kuznedelov, Konstantin; Mekler, Vladimir; Lemak, Sofia; Tokmina-Lukaszewska, Monika; Datsenko, Kirill A.; Jain, Ishita; Savitskaya, Ekaterina; Mallon, John; Shmakov, Sergey; Bothner, Brian; Bailey, Scott; Yakunin, Alexander F.; Severinov, Konstantin; Semenova, Ekaterina

    2016-01-01

    The Escherichia coli type I-E CRISPR-Cas system Cascade effector is a multisubunit complex that binds CRISPR RNA (crRNA). Through its 32-nucleotide spacer sequence, Cascade-bound crRNA recognizes protospacers in foreign DNA, causing its destruction during CRISPR interference or acquisition of additional spacers in CRISPR array during primed CRISPR adaptation. Within Cascade, the crRNA spacer interacts with a hexamer of Cas7 subunits. We show that crRNAs with a spacer length reduced to 14 nucleotides cause primed adaptation, while crRNAs with spacer lengths of more than 20 nucleotides cause both primed adaptation and target interference in vivo. Shortened crRNAs assemble into altered-stoichiometry Cascade effector complexes containing less than the normal amount of Cas7 subunits. The results show that Cascade assembly is driven by crRNA and suggest that multisubunit type I CRISPR effectors may have evolved from much simpler ancestral complexes. PMID:27738137

  1. Archaeal Viruses of the Sulfolobales: Isolation, Infection, and CRISPR Spacer Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Erdmann, Susanne; Garrett, Roger A

    2015-01-01

    Infection of archaea with phylogenetically diverse single viruses, performed in different laboratories, has failed to activate spacer acquisition into host CRISPR loci. The first successful uptake of archaeal de novo spacers was observed on infection of Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 with an environmental virus mixture isolated from Yellowstone National Park (Erdmann and Garrett, Mol Microbiol 85:1044-1056, 2012). Experimental studies of isolated genetic elements from this mixture revealed that SMV1 (S ulfolobus Monocauda Virus 1), a tailed spindle-shaped virus, can induce spacer acquisition in CRISPR loci of Sulfolobus species from a second coinfecting conjugative plasmid or virus (Erdmann and Garrett, Mol Microbiol 85:1044-1056, 2012; Erdmann et al. Mol Microbiol 91:900-917, 2014). Here we describe, firstly, the isolation of archaeal virus mixtures from terrestrial hot springs and the techniques used both to infect laboratory strains with these virus mixtures and to obtain purified virus particles. Secondly, we present the experimental conditions required for activating SMV1-induced spacer acquisition in two different Sulfolobus species.

  2. Global transcription of CRISPR loci in the human oral cavity.

    PubMed

    Lum, Andrew G; Ly, Melissa; Santiago-Rodriguez, Tasha M; Naidu, Mayuri; Boehm, Tobias K; Pride, David T

    2015-05-21

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) are active in acquired resistance against bacteriophage and plasmids in a number of environments. In the human mouth, CRISPR loci evolve to counteract oral phage, but the expression of these CRISPR loci has not previously been investigated. We sequenced cDNA from CRISPR loci found in numerous different oral bacteria and compared with oral phage communities to determine whether the transcription of CRISPR loci is specifically targeted towards highly abundant phage present in the oral environment. We found that of the 529,027 CRISPR spacer groups studied, 88 % could be identified in transcripts, indicating that the vast majority of CRISPR loci in the oral cavity were transcribed. There were no strong associations between CRISPR spacer repertoires and oral health status or nucleic acid type. We also compared CRISPR repertoires with oral bacteriophage communities, and found that there was no significant association between CRISPR transcripts and oral phage, regardless of the CRISPR type being evaluated. We characterized highly expressed CRISPR spacers and found that they were no more likely than other spacers to match oral phage. By reassembling the CRISPR-bearing reads into longer CRISPR loci, we found that the majority of the loci did not have spacers matching viruses found in the oral cavities of the subjects studied. For some CRISPR types, loci containing spacers matching oral phage were significantly more likely to have multiple spacers rather than a single spacer matching oral phage. These data suggest that the transcription of oral CRISPR loci is relatively ubiquitous and that highly expressed CRISPR spacers do not necessarily target the most abundant oral phage.

  3. The CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex in Escherichia coli accommodates extended RNA spacers

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, Michelle L.; Jackson, Ryan N.; Denny, Steven R.; Tokmina-Lukaszewska, Monika; Maksimchuk, Kenneth R.; Lin, Wayne; Bothner, Brian; Wiedenheft, Blake; Beisel, Chase L.

    2016-05-12

    Bacteria and archaea acquire resistance to foreign genetic elements by integrating fragments of foreign DNA into CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) loci. In Escherichia coli, CRISPR-derived RNAs (crRNAs) assemble with Cas proteins into a multi-subunit surveillance complex called Cascade (CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense). Cascade recognizes DNA targets via protein-mediated recognition of a protospacer adjacent motif and complementary base pairing between the crRNA spacer and the DNA target. Previously determined structures of Cascade showed that the crRNA is stretched along an oligomeric protein assembly, leading us to ask how crRNA length impacts the assembly and function of this complex. We found that extending the spacer portion of the crRNA resulted in larger Cascade complexes with altered stoichiometry and preserved in vitro binding affinity for target DNA. Longer spacers also preserved the in vivo ability of Cascade to repress target gene expression and to recruit the Cas3 endonuclease for target degradation. Lastly, longer spacers exhibited enhanced silencing at particular target locations and were sensitive to mismatches within the extended region. These findings demonstrate the flexibility of the Type I-E CRISPR machinery and suggest that spacer length can be modified to fine-tune Cascade activity.

  4. The spacer size of I-B CRISPR is modulated by the terminal sequence of the protospacer.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Gong, Luyao; Zhao, Dahe; Zhou, Jian; Xiang, Hua

    2017-04-03

    Prokaryotes memorize invader information by incorporating alien DNA as spacers into CRISPR arrays. Although the spacer size has been suggested to be predefined by the architecture of the acquisition complex, there is usually an unexpected heterogeneity. Here, we explored the causes of this heterogeneity in Haloarcula hispanica I-B CRISPR. High-throughput sequencing following adaptation assays demonstrated significant size variation among 37 957 new spacers, which appeared to be sequence-dependent. Consistently, the third nucleotide at the spacer 3΄-end (PAM-distal end) showed an evident bias for cytosine and mutating this cytosine in the protospacer sequence could change the final spacer size. In addition, slippage of the 5΄-end (PAM-end), which contributed to most of the observed PAM (protospacer adjacent motif) inaccuracy, also tended to change the spacer size. We propose that both ends of the PAM-protospacer sequence should exhibit nucleotide selectivity (with different stringencies), which fine-tunes the structural ruler, to a certain extent, to specify the spacer size.

  5. Conservation of streptococcal CRISPRs on human skin and saliva

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) are utilized by bacteria to resist encounters with their viruses. Human body surfaces have numerous bacteria that harbor CRISPRs, and their content can provide clues as to the types and features of viruses they may have encountered. Results We investigated the conservation of CRISPR content from streptococci on skin and saliva of human subjects over 8-weeks to determine whether similarities existed in the CRISPR spacer profiles and whether CRISPR spacers were a stable component of each biogeographic site. Most of the CRISPR sequences identified were unique, but a small proportion of spacers from the skin and saliva of each subject matched spacers derived from previously sequenced loci of S. thermophilus and other streptococci. There were significant proportions of CRISPR spacers conserved over the entire 8-week study period for all subjects, and salivary CRISPR spacers sampled in the mornings showed significantly higher levels of conservation than any other time of day. We also found substantial similarities in the spacer repertoires of the skin and saliva of each subject. Many skin-derived spacers matched salivary viruses, supporting that bacteria of the skin may encounter viruses with similar sequences to those found in the mouth. Despite the similarities between skin and salivary spacer repertoires, the variation present was distinct based on each subject and body site. Conclusions The conservation of CRISPR spacers in the saliva and the skin of human subjects over the time period studied suggests a relative conservation of the bacteria harboring them. PMID:24903519

  6. Phage-host interactions in Streptococcus thermophilus: Genome analysis of phages isolated in Uruguay and ectopic spacer acquisition in CRISPR array

    PubMed Central

    Achigar, Rodrigo; Magadán, Alfonso H.; Tremblay, Denise M.; Julia Pianzzola, María; Moineau, Sylvain

    2017-01-01

    Three cos-type virulent Streptococcus thermophilus phages were isolated from failed mozzarella production in Uruguay. Genome analyses showed that these phages are similar to those isolated elsewhere around the world. The CRISPR1 and CRISPR3 arrays of the three S. thermophilus host strains from Uruguay were also characterized and similarities were noted with previously described model strains SMQ-301, LMD-9 and DGCC7710. Spontaneous bacteriophage-insensitive S. thermophilus mutants (BIMs) were obtained after challenging the phage-sensitive wild-type strain Uy02 with the phage 128 and their CRISPR content was analyzed. Analysis of 23 BIMs indicated that all of them had acquired at least one new spacer in their CRISPR1 array. While 14 BIMs had acquired spacer at the 5′-end of the array, 9 other BIMs acquired a spacer within the array. Comparison of the leader sequence in strains Uy02 and DGCC7710 showed a nucleotide deletion at position -1 in Uy02, which may be responsible for the observed ectopic spacer acquisition. Analysis of the spacer sequences upstream the newly acquired ectopic spacer indicated presence of a conserved adenine residue at position -2. This study indicates that natural strains of S. thermophilus can also acquire spacers within a CRISPR array. PMID:28262818

  7. Phage-host interactions in Streptococcus thermophilus: Genome analysis of phages isolated in Uruguay and ectopic spacer acquisition in CRISPR array.

    PubMed

    Achigar, Rodrigo; Magadán, Alfonso H; Tremblay, Denise M; Julia Pianzzola, María; Moineau, Sylvain

    2017-03-06

    Three cos-type virulent Streptococcus thermophilus phages were isolated from failed mozzarella production in Uruguay. Genome analyses showed that these phages are similar to those isolated elsewhere around the world. The CRISPR1 and CRISPR3 arrays of the three S. thermophilus host strains from Uruguay were also characterized and similarities were noted with previously described model strains SMQ-301, LMD-9 and DGCC7710. Spontaneous bacteriophage-insensitive S. thermophilus mutants (BIMs) were obtained after challenging the phage-sensitive wild-type strain Uy02 with the phage 128 and their CRISPR content was analyzed. Analysis of 23 BIMs indicated that all of them had acquired at least one new spacer in their CRISPR1 array. While 14 BIMs had acquired spacer at the 5'-end of the array, 9 other BIMs acquired a spacer within the array. Comparison of the leader sequence in strains Uy02 and DGCC7710 showed a nucleotide deletion at position -1 in Uy02, which may be responsible for the observed ectopic spacer acquisition. Analysis of the spacer sequences upstream the newly acquired ectopic spacer indicated presence of a conserved adenine residue at position -2. This study indicates that natural strains of S. thermophilus can also acquire spacers within a CRISPR array.

  8. Generation of a CRISPR database for Yersinia pseudotuberculosis complex and role of CRISPR-based immunity in conjugation.

    PubMed

    Koskela, Katja A; Mattinen, Laura; Kalin-Mänttäri, Laura; Vergnaud, Gilles; Gorgé, Olivier; Nikkari, Simo; Skurnik, Mikael

    2015-11-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat - CRISPR-associated genes (CRISPR-Cas) system is used by bacteria and archaea against invading conjugative plasmids or bacteriophages. Central to this immunity system are genomic CRISPR loci that contain fragments of invading DNA. These are maintained as spacers in the CRISPR loci between direct repeats and the spacer composition in any bacterium reflects its evolutionary history. We analysed the CRISPR locus sequences of 335 Yersinia pseudotuberculosis complex strains. Altogether 1902 different spacer sequences were identified and these were used to generate a database for the spacer sequences. Only ∼10% of the spacer sequences found matching sequences. In addition, surprisingly few spacers were shared by Yersinia pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains. Interestingly, 32 different protospacers were present in the conjugative plasmid pYptb32953. The corresponding spacers were identified from 35 different Y. pseudotuberculosis strains indicating that these strains had encountered pYptb32953 earlier. In conjugation experiments, pYptb32953-specific spacers generally prevented conjugation with spacer-positive and spacer-free strains. However, some strains with one to four spacers were invaded by pYptb32953 and some spacer-free strains were fully resistant. Also some spacer-positive strains were intermediate resistant to conjugation. This suggests that one or more other defence systems are determining conjugation efficiency independent of the CRISPR-Cas system. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. The evolutionary divergence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli is reflected in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) spacer composition.

    PubMed

    Yin, Shuang; Jensen, Mark A; Bai, Jiawei; Debroy, Chitrita; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Dudley, Edward G

    2013-09-01

    The Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, including those of O157:H7 and the "big six" serogroups (i.e., serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145), are a group of pathogens designated food adulterants in the United States. The relatively conserved nature of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) in phylogenetically related E. coli strains makes them potential subtyping markers for STEC detection, and a quantitative PCR (qPCR)-based assay was previously developed for O26:H11, O45:H2, O103:H2, O111:H8, O121:H19, O145:H28, and O157:H7 isolates. To better evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of this qPCR method, the CRISPR loci of 252 O157 and big-six STEC isolates were sequenced and analyzed along with 563 CRISPR1 and 624 CRISPR2 sequences available in GenBank. General conservation of spacer content and order was observed within each O157 and big-six serogroup, validating the qPCR method. Meanwhile, it was found that spacer deletion, the presence of an insertion sequence, and distinct alleles within a serogroup are sources of false-negative reactions. Conservation of CRISPR arrays among isolates expressing the same flagellar antigen, specifically, H7, H2, and H11, suggested that these isolates share an ancestor and provided an explanation for the false positives previously observed in the qPCR results. An analysis of spacer distribution across E. coli strains provided limited evidence for temporal spacer acquisition. Conversely, comparison of CRISPR sequences between strains along the stepwise evolution of O157:H7 from its O55:H7 ancestor revealed that, over this ∼7,000-year span, spacer deletion was the primary force generating CRISPR diversity.

  10. The Evolutionary Divergence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Is Reflected in Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) Spacer Composition

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Shuang; Jensen, Mark A.; Bai, Jiawei; DebRoy, Chitrita; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2013-01-01

    The Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, including those of O157:H7 and the “big six” serogroups (i.e., serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145), are a group of pathogens designated food adulterants in the United States. The relatively conserved nature of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) in phylogenetically related E. coli strains makes them potential subtyping markers for STEC detection, and a quantitative PCR (qPCR)-based assay was previously developed for O26:H11, O45:H2, O103:H2, O111:H8, O121:H19, O145:H28, and O157:H7 isolates. To better evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of this qPCR method, the CRISPR loci of 252 O157 and big-six STEC isolates were sequenced and analyzed along with 563 CRISPR1 and 624 CRISPR2 sequences available in GenBank. General conservation of spacer content and order was observed within each O157 and big-six serogroup, validating the qPCR method. Meanwhile, it was found that spacer deletion, the presence of an insertion sequence, and distinct alleles within a serogroup are sources of false-negative reactions. Conservation of CRISPR arrays among isolates expressing the same flagellar antigen, specifically, H7, H2, and H11, suggested that these isolates share an ancestor and provided an explanation for the false positives previously observed in the qPCR results. An analysis of spacer distribution across E. coli strains provided limited evidence for temporal spacer acquisition. Conversely, comparison of CRISPR sequences between strains along the stepwise evolution of O157:H7 from its O55:H7 ancestor revealed that, over this ∼7,000-year span, spacer deletion was the primary force generating CRISPR diversity. PMID:23851088

  11. SMV1 virus-induced CRISPR spacer acquisition from the conjugative plasmid pMGB1 in Sulfolobus solfataricus P2.

    PubMed

    Erdmann, Susanne; Shah, Shiraz A; Garrett, Roger A

    2013-12-01

    Organisms of the crenarchaeal order Sulfolobales carry complex CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) adaptive immune systems. These systems are modular and show extensive structural and functional diversity, especially in their interference complexes. The primary targets are an exceptional range of diverse viruses, many of which propagate stably within cells and follow lytic life cycles without producing cell lysis. These properties are consistent with the difficulty of activating CRISPR spacer uptake in the laboratory, but appear to conflict with the high complexity and diversity of the CRISPR immune systems that are found among the Sulfolobales. In the present article, we re-examine the first successful induction of archaeal spacer acquisition in our laboratory that occurred exclusively for the conjugative plasmid pMGB1 in Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 that was co-infected with the virus SMV1 (Sulfolobus monocaudavirus 1). Although we reaffirm that protospacer selection is essentially a random process with respect to the pMGB1 genome, we identified single spacer sequences specific for each of CRISPR loci C, D and E that, exceptionally, occurred in many sequenced clones. Moreover, the same sequence was reproducibly acquired for a given locus in independent experiments, consistent with it being the first protospacer to be selected. There was also a small protospacer bias (1.6:1) to the antisense strand of protein genes. In addition, new experiments demonstrated that spacer acquisition in the previously inactive CRISPR locus A could be induced on freeze-thawing of the infected cells, suggesting that environmental stress can facilitate activation. Coincidentally with spacer acquisition, a mobile OrfB element was deleted from pMGB1, suggesting that interplay can occur between spacer acquisition and transposition.

  12. SMV1 virus-induced CRISPR spacer acquisition from the conjugative plasmid pMGB1 in Sulfolobus solfataricus P2

    PubMed Central

    Erdmann, Susanne; Shah, Shiraz A.; Garrett, Roger A.

    2013-01-01

    Organisms of the crenarchaeal order Sulfolobales carry complex CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) adaptive immune systems. These systems are modular and show extensive structural and functional diversity, especially in their interference complexes. The primary targets are an exceptional range of diverse viruses, many of which propagate stably within cells and follow lytic life cycles without producing cell lysis. These properties are consistent with the difficulty of activating CRISPR spacer uptake in the laboratory, but appear to conflict with the high complexity and diversity of the CRISPR immune systems that are found among the Sulfolobales. In the present article, we re-examine the first successful induction of archaeal spacer acquisition in our laboratory that occurred exclusively for the conjugative plasmid pMGB1 in Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 that was co-infected with the virus SMV1 (Sulfolobus monocaudavirus 1). Although we reaffirm that protospacer selection is essentially a random process with respect to the pMGB1 genome, we identified single spacer sequences specific for each of CRISPR loci C, D and E that, exceptionally, occurred in many sequenced clones. Moreover, the same sequence was reproducibly acquired for a given locus in independent experiments, consistent with it being the first protospacer to be selected. There was also a small protospacer bias (1.6:1) to the antisense strand of protein genes. In addition, new experiments demonstrated that spacer acquisition in the previously inactive CRISPR locus A could be induced on freeze–thawing of the infected cells, suggesting that environmental stress can facilitate activation. Coincidentally with spacer acquisition, a mobile OrfB element was deleted from pMGB1, suggesting that interplay can occur between spacer acquisition and transposition. PMID:24256236

  13. The Bacteriophage Carrier State of Campylobacter jejuni Features Changes in Host Non-coding RNAs and the Acquisition of New Host-derived CRISPR Spacer Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Hooton, Steven P. T.; Brathwaite, Kelly J.; Connerton, Ian F.

    2016-01-01

    Incorporation of self-derived CRISPR DNA protospacers in Campylobacter jejuni PT14 occurs in the presence of bacteriophages encoding a CRISPR-like Cas4 protein. This phenomenon was evident in carrier state infections where both bacteriophages and host are maintained for seemingly indefinite periods as stable populations following serial passage. Carrier state cultures of C. jejuni PT14 have greater aerotolerance in nutrient limited conditions, and may have arisen as an evolutionary response to selective pressures imposed during periods in the extra-intestinal environment. A consequence of this is that bacteriophage and host remain associated and able to survive transition periods where the chances of replicative success are greatly diminished. The majority of the bacteriophage population do not commit to lytic infection, and conversely the bacterial population tolerates low-level bacteriophage replication. We recently examined the effects of Campylobacter bacteriophage/C. jejuni PT14 CRISPR spacer acquisition using deep sequencing strategies of DNA and RNA-Seq to analyze carrier state cultures. This approach identified de novo spacer acquisition in C. jejuni PT14 associated with Class III Campylobacter phages CP8/CP30A but spacer acquisition was oriented toward the capture of host DNA. In the absence of bacteriophage predation the CRISPR spacers in uninfected C. jejuni PT14 cultures remain unchanged. A distinct preference was observed for incorporation of self-derived protospacers into the third spacer position of the C. jejuni PT14 CRISPR array, with the first and second spacers remaining fixed. RNA-Seq also revealed the variation in the synthesis of non-coding RNAs with the potential to bind bacteriophage genes and/or transcript sequences. PMID:27047470

  14. CRISPR Diversity in E. coli Isolates from Australian Animals, Humans and Environmental Waters

    PubMed Central

    Sheludchenko, Maxim S.; Huygens, Flavia; Stratton, Helen; Hargreaves, Megan

    2015-01-01

    Seventy four SNP genotypes and 54 E. coli genomes from kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, reptile, cattle, dog, horse, duck, bird, fish, rodent, human and environmental water sources were screened for the presence of the CRISPR 2.1 loci flanked by cas2 and iap genes. CRISPR 2.1 regions were found in 49% of the strains analysed. The majority of human E. coli isolates lacked the CRISPR 2.1 locus. We described 76 CRISPR 2.1 positive isolates originating from Australian animals and humans, which contained a total of 764 spacer sequences. CRISPR arrays demonstrated a long history of phage attacks especially in isolates from birds (up to 40 spacers). The most prevalent spacer (1.6%) was an ancient spacer found mainly in human, horse, duck, rodent, reptile and environmental water sources. The sequence of this spacer matched the intestinal P7 phage and the pO111 plasmid of E. coli. PMID:25946192

  15. CRISPR Diversity in E. coli Isolates from Australian Animals, Humans and Environmental Waters.

    PubMed

    Sheludchenko, Maxim S; Huygens, Flavia; Stratton, Helen; Hargreaves, Megan

    2015-01-01

    Seventy four SNP genotypes and 54 E. coli genomes from kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, reptile, cattle, dog, horse, duck, bird, fish, rodent, human and environmental water sources were screened for the presence of the CRISPR 2.1 loci flanked by cas2 and iap genes. CRISPR 2.1 regions were found in 49% of the strains analysed. The majority of human E. coli isolates lacked the CRISPR 2.1 locus. We described 76 CRISPR 2.1 positive isolates originating from Australian animals and humans, which contained a total of 764 spacer sequences. CRISPR arrays demonstrated a long history of phage attacks especially in isolates from birds (up to 40 spacers). The most prevalent spacer (1.6%) was an ancient spacer found mainly in human, horse, duck, rodent, reptile and environmental water sources. The sequence of this spacer matched the intestinal P7 phage and the pO111 plasmid of E. coli.

  16. Lactobacillus buchneri genotyping on the basis of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) locus diversity.

    PubMed

    Briner, Alexandra E; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2014-02-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in combination with associated sequences (cas) constitute the CRISPR-Cas immune system, which uptakes DNA from invasive genetic elements as novel "spacers" that provide a genetic record of immunization events. We investigated the potential of CRISPR-based genotyping of Lactobacillus buchneri, a species relevant for commercial silage, bioethanol, and vegetable fermentations. Upon investigating the occurrence and diversity of CRISPR-Cas systems in Lactobacillus buchneri genomes, we observed a ubiquitous occurrence of CRISPR arrays containing a 36-nucleotide (nt) type II-A CRISPR locus adjacent to four cas genes, including the universal cas1 and cas2 genes and the type II signature gene cas9. Comparative analysis of CRISPR spacer content in 26 L. buchneri pickle fermentation isolates associated with spoilage revealed 10 unique locus genotypes that contained between 9 and 29 variable spacers. We observed a set of conserved spacers at the ancestral end, reflecting a common origin, as well as leader-end polymorphisms, reflecting recent divergence. Some of these spacers showed perfect identity with phage sequences, and many spacers showed homology to Lactobacillus plasmid sequences. Following a comparative analysis of sequences immediately flanking protospacers that matched CRISPR spacers, we identified a novel putative protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM), 5'-AAAA-3'. Overall, these findings suggest that type II-A CRISPR-Cas systems are valuable for genotyping of L. buchneri.

  17. The Small, Slow and Specialized CRISPR and Anti-CRISPR of Escherichia and Salmonella

    PubMed Central

    Touchon, Marie; Rocha, Eduardo P. C.

    2010-01-01

    Prokaryotes thrive in spite of the vast number and diversity of their viruses. This partly results from the evolution of mechanisms to inactivate or silence the action of exogenous DNA. Among these, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) are unique in providing adaptive immunity against elements with high local resemblance to genomes of previously infecting agents. Here, we analyze the CRISPR loci of 51 complete genomes of Escherichia and Salmonella. CRISPR are in two pairs of loci in Escherichia, one single pair in Salmonella, each pair showing a similar turnover rate, repeat sequence and putative linkage to a common set of cas genes. Yet, phylogeny shows that CRISPR and associated cas genes have different evolutionary histories, the latter being frequently exchanged or lost. In our set, one CRISPR pair seems specialized in plasmids often matching genes coding for the replication, conjugation and antirestriction machinery. Strikingly, this pair also matches the cognate cas genes in which case these genes are absent. The unexpectedly high conservation of this anti-CRISPR suggests selection to counteract the invasion of mobile elements containing functional CRISPR/cas systems. There are few spacers in most CRISPR, which rarely match genomes of known phages. Furthermore, we found that strains divergent less than 250 thousand years ago show virtually identical CRISPR. The lack of congruence between cas, CRISPR and the species phylogeny and the slow pace of CRISPR change make CRISPR poor epidemiological markers in enterobacteria. All these observations are at odds with the expectedly abundant and dynamic repertoire of spacers in an immune system aiming at protecting bacteria from phages. Since we observe purifying selection for the maintenance of CRISPR these results suggest that alternative evolutionary roles for CRISPR remain to be uncovered. PMID:20559554

  18. Comparative analysis of CRISPR-Cas systems in Klebsiella genomes.

    PubMed

    Shen, Juntao; Lv, Li; Wang, Xudong; Xiu, Zhilong; Chen, Guoqiang

    2017-02-03

    Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas system provides adaptive immunity against invasive genetic elements. Bacteria of the genus Klebsiella are important nosocomial opportunistic pathogens. However, information of CRISPR-Cas system in Klebsiella remains largely unknown. Here, we analyzed the CRISPR-Cas systems of 68 complete genomes of Klebsiella representing four species. All the elements for CRISPR-Cas system (cas genes, repeats, leader sequences, and PAMs) were characterized. Besides the typical Type I-E and I-F CRISPR-Cas systems, a new Subtype I system located in the ABC transport system-glyoxalase region was found. The conservation of the new subtype CRISPR system between different species showed new evidence for CRISPR horizontal transfer. CRISPR polymorphism was strongly correlated both with species and multilocus sequence types. Some results indicated the function of adaptive immunity: most spacers (112 of 124) matched to prophages and plasmids and no matching housekeeping genes; new spacer acquisition was observed within the same sequence type (ST) and same clonal complex; the identical spacers were observed only in the ancient position (far from the leader) between different STs and clonal complexes. Interestingly, a high ratio of self-targeting spacers (7.5%, 31 of 416) was found in CRISPR-bearing Klebsiella pneumoniae (61%, 11 of 18). In some strains, there even were multiple full matching self-targeting spacers. Some self-targeting spacers were conserved even between different STs. These results indicated that some unknown mechanisms existed to compromise the function of self-targets of CRISPR-Cas systems in K. pneumoniae.

  19. Lactobacillus buchneri Genotyping on the Basis of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) Locus Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Briner, Alexandra E.

    2014-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in combination with associated sequences (cas) constitute the CRISPR-Cas immune system, which uptakes DNA from invasive genetic elements as novel “spacers” that provide a genetic record of immunization events. We investigated the potential of CRISPR-based genotyping of Lactobacillus buchneri, a species relevant for commercial silage, bioethanol, and vegetable fermentations. Upon investigating the occurrence and diversity of CRISPR-Cas systems in Lactobacillus buchneri genomes, we observed a ubiquitous occurrence of CRISPR arrays containing a 36-nucleotide (nt) type II-A CRISPR locus adjacent to four cas genes, including the universal cas1 and cas2 genes and the type II signature gene cas9. Comparative analysis of CRISPR spacer content in 26 L. buchneri pickle fermentation isolates associated with spoilage revealed 10 unique locus genotypes that contained between 9 and 29 variable spacers. We observed a set of conserved spacers at the ancestral end, reflecting a common origin, as well as leader-end polymorphisms, reflecting recent divergence. Some of these spacers showed perfect identity with phage sequences, and many spacers showed homology to Lactobacillus plasmid sequences. Following a comparative analysis of sequences immediately flanking protospacers that matched CRISPR spacers, we identified a novel putative protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM), 5′-AAAA-3′. Overall, these findings suggest that type II-A CRISPR-Cas systems are valuable for genotyping of L. buchneri. PMID:24271175

  20. Characterization and evolution of Salmonella CRISPR-Cas systems.

    PubMed

    Shariat, Nikki; Timme, Ruth E; Pettengill, James B; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Dudley, Edward G

    2015-02-01

    Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated genes) systems provide adaptive immunity from invasive genetic elements and encompass three essential features: (i) cas genes, (ii) a CRISPR array composed of spacers and direct repeats and (iii) an AT-rich leader sequence upstream of the array. We performed in-depth sequence analysis of the CRISPR-Cas systems in >600 Salmonella, representing four clinically prevalent serovars. Each CRISPR-Cas feature is extremely conserved in the Salmonella, and the CRISPR1 locus is more highly conserved than CRISPR2. Array composition is serovar-specific, although no convincing evidence of recent spacer acquisition against exogenous nucleic acids exists. Only 12% of spacers match phage and plasmid sequences and self-targeting spacers are associated with direct repeat variants. High nucleotide identity (>99.9%) exists across the cas operon among isolates of a single serovar and in some cases this conservation extends across divergent serovars. These observations reflect historical CRISPR-Cas immune activity, showing that this locus has ceased undergoing adaptive events. Intriguingly, the high level of conservation across divergent serovars shows that the genetic integrity of these inactive loci is maintained over time, contrasting with the canonical view that inactive CRISPR loci degenerate over time. This thorough characterization of Salmonella CRISPR-Cas systems presents new insights into Salmonella CRISPR evolution, particularly with respect to cas gene conservation, leader sequences, organization of direct repeats and protospacer matches. Collectively, our data suggest that Salmonella CRISPR-Cas systems are no longer immunogenic; rather, their impressive conservation indicates they may have an alternative function in Salmonella.

  1. Characterization and evolution of Salmonella CRISPR-Cas systems.

    PubMed

    Shariat, Nikki; Timme, Ruth E; Pettengill, James B; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Dudley, Edward G

    2015-02-01

    Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated genes) systems provide adaptive immunity from invasive genetic elements and encompass three essential features: (i) cas genes, (ii) a CRISPR array composed of spacers and direct repeats and (iii) an AT-rich leader sequence upstream of the array. We performed in-depth sequence analysis of the CRISPR-Cas systems in >600 Salmonella, representing four clinically prevalent serovars. Each CRISPR-Cas feature is extremely conserved in the Salmonella, and the CRISPR1 locus is more highly conserved than CRISPR2. Array composition is serovar-specific, although no convincing evidence of recent spacer acquisition against exogenous nucleic acids exists. Only 12 % of spacers match phage and plasmid sequences and self-targeting spacers are associated with direct repeat variants. High nucleotide identity (>99.9 %) exists across the cas operon among isolates of a single serovar and in some cases this conservation extends across divergent serovars. These observations reflect historical CRISPR-Cas immune activity, showing that this locus has ceased undergoing adaptive events. Intriguingly, the high level of conservation across divergent serovars shows that the genetic integrity of these inactive loci is maintained over time, contrasting with the canonical view that inactive CRISPR loci degenerate over time. This thorough characterization of Salmonella CRISPR-Cas systems presents new insights into Salmonella CRISPR evolution, particularly with respect to cas gene conservation, leader sequences, organization of direct repeats and protospacer matches. Collectively, our data suggest that Salmonella CRISPR-Cas systems are no longer immunogenic; rather, their impressive conservation indicates they may have an alternative function in Salmonella.

  2. CRISPR loci reveal networks of gene exchange in archaea

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background CRISPR (Clustered, Regularly, Interspaced, Short, Palindromic Repeats) loci provide prokaryotes with an adaptive immunity against viruses and other mobile genetic elements. CRISPR arrays can be transcribed and processed into small crRNA molecules, which are then used by the cell to target the foreign nucleic acid. Since spacers are accumulated by active CRISPR/Cas systems, the sequences of these spacers provide a record of the past "infection history" of the organism. Results Here we analyzed all currently known spacers present in archaeal genomes and identified their source by DNA similarity. While nearly 50% of archaeal spacers matched mobile genetic elements, such as plasmids or viruses, several others matched chromosomal genes of other organisms, primarily other archaea. Thus, networks of gene exchange between archaeal species were revealed by the spacer analysis, including many cases of inter-genus and inter-species gene transfer events. Spacers that recognize viral sequences tend to be located further away from the leader sequence, implying that there exists a selective pressure for their retention. Conclusions CRISPR spacers provide direct evidence for extensive gene exchange in archaea, especially within genera, and support the current dogma where the primary role of the CRISPR/Cas system is anti-viral and anti-plasmid defense. Open peer review This article was reviewed by: Profs. W. Ford Doolittle, John van der Oost, Christa Schleper (nominated by board member Prof. J Peter Gogarten) PMID:22188759

  3. Rapid Multiplex Creation of Escherichia coli Strains Capable of Interfering with Phage Infection Through CRISPR.

    PubMed

    Strotksaya, Alexandra; Semenova, Ekaterina; Savitskaya, Ekaterina; Severinov, Konstantin

    2015-01-01

    In Escherichia coli, acquisition of new spacers in the course of CRISPR-Cas adaptation is dramatically stimulated by preexisting partial matches between a bacterial CRISPR cassette spacer and a protospacer sequence in the DNA of the infecting bacteriophage or plasmid. This phenomenon, which we refer to as "priming," can be used for very simple and rapid construction of multiple E. coli strains capable of targeting, through CRISPR interference, any phage or plasmid of interest. Availability of such strains should allow rapid progress in the analysis of CRISPR-Cas system function against diverse mobile genetic elements.

  4. Regulation of the Type I-F CRISPR-Cas system by CRP-cAMP and GalM controls spacer acquisition and interference.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Adrian G; Chang, James T; Taylor, Corinda; Fineran, Peter C

    2015-07-13

    The CRISPR-Cas prokaryotic 'adaptive immune systems' represent a sophisticated defence strategy providing bacteria and archaea with protection from invading genetic elements, such as bacteriophages or plasmids. Despite intensive research into their mechanism and application, how CRISPR-Cas systems are regulated is less clear, and nothing is known about the regulation of Type I-F systems. We used Pectobacterium atrosepticum, a Gram-negative phytopathogen, to study CRISPR-Cas regulation, since it contains a single Type I-F system. The CRP-cAMP complex activated the cas operon, increasing the expression of the adaptation genes cas1 and cas2-3 in addition to the genes encoding the Csy surveillance complex. Mutation of crp or cyaA (encoding adenylate cyclase) resulted in reductions in both primed spacer acquisition and interference. Furthermore, we identified a galactose mutarotase, GalM, which reduced cas operon expression in a CRP- and CyaA-dependent manner. We propose that the Type I-F system senses metabolic changes, such as sugar availability, and regulates cas genes to initiate an appropriate defence response. Indeed, elevated glucose levels reduced cas expression in a CRP- and CyaA-dependent manner. Taken together, these findings highlight that a metabolite-sensing regulatory pathway controls expression of the Type I-F CRISPR-Cas system to modulate levels of adaptation and interference.

  5. Foreign DNA acquisition by the I-F CRISPR-Cas system requires all components of the interference machinery.

    PubMed

    Vorontsova, Daria; Datsenko, Kirill A; Medvedeva, Sofia; Bondy-Denomy, Joseph; Savitskaya, Ekaterina E; Pougach, Ksenia; Logacheva, Maria; Wiedenheft, Blake; Davidson, Alan R; Severinov, Konstantin; Semenova, Ekaterina

    2015-12-15

    CRISPR immunity depends on acquisition of fragments of foreign DNA into CRISPR arrays. For type I-E CRISPR-Cas systems two modes of spacer acquisition, naïve and primed adaptation, were described. Naïve adaptation requires just two most conserved Cas1 and Cas2 proteins; it leads to spacer acquisition from both foreign and bacterial DNA and results in multiple spacers incapable of immune response. Primed adaptation requires all Cas proteins and a CRISPR RNA recognizing a partially matching target. It leads to selective acquisition of spacers from DNA molecules recognized by priming CRISPR RNA, with most spacers capable of protecting the host. Here, we studied spacer acquisition by a type I-F CRISPR-Cas system. We observe both naïve and primed adaptation. Both processes require not just Cas1 and Cas2, but also intact Csy complex and CRISPR RNA. Primed adaptation shows a gradient of acquisition efficiency as a function of distance from the priming site and a strand bias that is consistent with existence of single-stranded adaption intermediates. The results provide new insights into the mechanism of spacer acquisition and illustrate surprising mechanistic diversity of related CRISPR-Cas systems.

  6. A PNPase dependent CRISPR System in Listeria.

    PubMed

    Sesto, Nina; Touchon, Marie; Andrade, José Marques; Kondo, Jiro; Rocha, Eduardo P C; Arraiano, Cecilia Maria; Archambaud, Cristel; Westhof, Éric; Romby, Pascale; Cossart, Pascale

    2014-01-01

    The human bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is emerging as a model organism to study RNA-mediated regulation in pathogenic bacteria. A class of non-coding RNAs called CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has been described to confer bacterial resistance against invading bacteriophages and conjugative plasmids. CRISPR function relies on the activity of CRISPR associated (cas) genes that encode a large family of proteins with nuclease or helicase activities and DNA and RNA binding domains. Here, we characterized a CRISPR element (RliB) that is expressed and processed in the L. monocytogenes strain EGD-e, which is completely devoid of cas genes. Structural probing revealed that RliB has an unexpected secondary structure comprising basepair interactions between the repeats and the adjacent spacers in place of canonical hairpins formed by the palindromic repeats. Moreover, in contrast to other CRISPR-Cas systems identified in Listeria, RliB-CRISPR is ubiquitously present among Listeria genomes at the same genomic locus and is never associated with the cas genes. We showed that RliB-CRISPR is a substrate for the endogenously encoded polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) enzyme. The spacers of the different Listeria RliB-CRISPRs share many sequences with temperate and virulent phages. Furthermore, we show that a cas-less RliB-CRISPR lowers the acquisition frequency of a plasmid carrying the matching protospacer, provided that trans encoded cas genes of a second CRISPR-Cas system are present in the genome. Importantly, we show that PNPase is required for RliB-CRISPR mediated DNA interference. Altogether, our data reveal a yet undescribed CRISPR system whose both processing and activity depend on PNPase, highlighting a new and unexpected function for PNPase in "CRISPRology".

  7. A PNPase Dependent CRISPR System in Listeria

    PubMed Central

    Sesto, Nina; Touchon, Marie; Andrade, José Marques; Kondo, Jiro; Rocha, Eduardo P. C.; Arraiano, Cecilia Maria; Archambaud, Cristel; Westhof, Éric; Romby, Pascale; Cossart, Pascale

    2014-01-01

    The human bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is emerging as a model organism to study RNA-mediated regulation in pathogenic bacteria. A class of non-coding RNAs called CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has been described to confer bacterial resistance against invading bacteriophages and conjugative plasmids. CRISPR function relies on the activity of CRISPR associated (cas) genes that encode a large family of proteins with nuclease or helicase activities and DNA and RNA binding domains. Here, we characterized a CRISPR element (RliB) that is expressed and processed in the L. monocytogenes strain EGD-e, which is completely devoid of cas genes. Structural probing revealed that RliB has an unexpected secondary structure comprising basepair interactions between the repeats and the adjacent spacers in place of canonical hairpins formed by the palindromic repeats. Moreover, in contrast to other CRISPR-Cas systems identified in Listeria, RliB-CRISPR is ubiquitously present among Listeria genomes at the same genomic locus and is never associated with the cas genes. We showed that RliB-CRISPR is a substrate for the endogenously encoded polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) enzyme. The spacers of the different Listeria RliB-CRISPRs share many sequences with temperate and virulent phages. Furthermore, we show that a cas-less RliB-CRISPR lowers the acquisition frequency of a plasmid carrying the matching protospacer, provided that trans encoded cas genes of a second CRISPR-Cas system are present in the genome. Importantly, we show that PNPase is required for RliB-CRISPR mediated DNA interference. Altogether, our data reveal a yet undescribed CRISPR system whose both processing and activity depend on PNPase, highlighting a new and unexpected function for PNPase in “CRISPRology”. PMID:24415952

  8. Metagenomic reconstructions of bacterial CRISPR loci constrain population histories.

    PubMed

    Sun, Christine L; Thomas, Brian C; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Banfield, Jillian F

    2016-04-01

    Bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems provide insight into recent population history because they rapidly incorporate, in a unidirectional manner, short fragments (spacers) from coexisting infective virus populations into host chromosomes. Immunity is achieved by sequence identity between transcripts of spacers and their targets. Here, we used metagenomics to study the stability and dynamics of the type I-E CRISPR-Cas locus of Leptospirillum group II bacteria in biofilms sampled over 5 years from an acid mine drainage (AMD) system. Despite recovery of 452,686 spacers from CRISPR amplicons and metagenomic data, rarefaction curves of spacers show no saturation. The vast repertoire of spacers is attributed to phage/plasmid population diversity and retention of old spacers, despite rapid evolution of the targeted phage/plasmid genome regions (proto-spacers). The oldest spacers (spacers found at the trailer end) are conserved for at least 5 years, and 12% of these retain perfect or near-perfect matches to proto-spacer targets. The majority of proto-spacer regions contain an AAG proto-spacer adjacent motif (PAM). Spacers throughout the locus target the same phage population (AMDV1), but there are blocks of consecutive spacers without AMDV1 target sequences. Results suggest long-term coexistence of Leptospirillum with AMDV1 and periods when AMDV1 was less dominant. Metagenomics can be applied to millions of cells in a single sample to provide an extremely large spacer inventory, allow identification of phage/plasmids and enable analysis of previous phage/plasmid exposure. Thus, this approach can provide insights into prior bacterial environment and genetic interplay between hosts and their viruses.

  9. CRISPR-Cas systems in the marine actinomycete Salinispora: linkages with phage defense, microdiversity and biogeography.

    PubMed

    Wietz, Matthias; Millán-Aguiñaga, Natalie; Jensen, Paul R

    2014-10-25

    Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas systems confer resistance to viral infection and thus mediate bacteria-phage interactions. However, the distribution and functional diversity of CRISPRs among environmental bacteria remains largely unknown. Here, comparative genomics of 75 Salinispora strains provided insight into the diversity and distribution of CRISPR-Cas systems in a cosmopolitan marine actinomycete genus. CRISPRs were found in all Salinispora strains, with the majority containing multiple loci and different Cas array subtypes. Of the six subtypes identified, three have not been previously described. A lower prophage frequency in S. arenicola was associated with a higher fraction of spacers matching Salinispora prophages compared to S. tropica, suggesting differing defensive capacities between Salinispora species. The occurrence of related prophages in strains from distant locations, as well as spacers matching those prophages inserted throughout spacer arrays, indicate recurring encounters with widely distributed phages over time. Linkages of CRISPR features with Salinispora microdiversity pointed to subclade-specific contacts with mobile genetic elements (MGEs). This included lineage-specific spacer deletions or insertions, which may reflect weak selective pressures to maintain immunity or distinct temporal interactions with MGEs, respectively. Biogeographic patterns in spacer and prophage distributions support the concept that Salinispora spp. encounter localized MGEs. Moreover, the presence of spacers matching housekeeping genes suggests that CRISPRs may have functions outside of viral defense. This study provides a comprehensive examination of CRISPR-Cas systems in a broadly distributed group of environmental bacteria. The ubiquity and diversity of CRISPRs in Salinispora suggests that CRISPR-mediated interactions with MGEs represent a major force in the ecology and evolution of this cosmopolitan marine actinomycete genus.

  10. Role of the Streptococcus mutans CRISPR-Cas systems in immunity and cell physiology.

    PubMed

    Serbanescu, M A; Cordova, M; Krastel, K; Flick, R; Beloglazova, N; Latos, A; Yakunin, A F; Senadheera, D B; Cvitkovitch, D G

    2015-02-15

    CRISPR-Cas systems provide adaptive microbial immunity against invading viruses and plasmids. The cariogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans UA159 has two CRISPR-Cas systems: CRISPR1 (type II-A) and CRISPR2 (type I-C) with several spacers from both CRISPR cassettes matching sequences of phage M102 or genomic sequences of other S. mutans. The deletion of the cas genes of CRISPR1 (ΔC1S), CRISPR2 (ΔC2E), or both CRISPR1+2 (ΔC1SC2E) or the removal of spacers 2 and 3 (ΔCR1SP13E) in S. mutans UA159 did not affect phage sensitivity when challenged with virulent phage M102. Using plasmid transformation experiments, we demonstrated that the CRISPR1-Cas system inhibits transformation of S. mutans by the plasmids matching the spacers 2 and 3. Functional analysis of the cas deletion mutants revealed that in addition to a role in plasmid targeting, both CRISPR systems also contribute to the regulation of bacterial physiology in S. mutans. Compared to wild-type cells, the ΔC1S strain displayed diminished growth under cell membrane and oxidative stress, enhanced growth under low pH, and had reduced survival under heat shock and DNA-damaging conditions, whereas the ΔC2E strain exhibited increased sensitivity to heat shock. Transcriptional analysis revealed that the two-component signal transduction system VicR/K differentially modulates expression of cas genes within CRISPR-Cas systems, suggesting that VicR/K might coordinate the expression of two CRISPR-Cas systems. Collectively, we provide in vivo evidence that the type II-A CRISPR-Cas system of S. mutans may be targeted to manipulate its stress response and to influence the host to control the uptake and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes.

  11. CRISPR distribution within the Escherichia coli species is not suggestive of immunity-associated diversifying selection.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Marie; Charpentier, Sophie; Clermont, Olivier; Rocha, Eduardo P C; Denamur, Erick; Branger, Catherine

    2011-05-01

    In order to get further insights into the role of the clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) in Escherichia coli, we analyzed the CRISPR diversity in a collection of 290 strains, in the phylogenetic framework of the strains represented by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The set included 263 natural E. coli isolates exposed to various environments and isolated over a 20-year period from humans and animals, as well as 27 fully sequenced strains. Our analyses confirm that there are two largely independent pairs of CRISPR loci (CRISPR1 and -2 and CRISPR3 and -4), each associated with a different type of cas genes (Ecoli and Ypest, respectively), but that each pair of CRISPRs has similar dynamics. Strikingly, the major phylogenetic group B2 is almost devoid of CRISPRs. The majority of genomes analyzed lack Ypest cas genes and contain CRISPR3 with spacers matching Ypest cas genes. The analysis of relatedness between strains in terms of spacer repertoire and the MLST tree shows a pattern where closely related strains (MLST phylogenetic distance of <0.005 corresponding to at least hundreds of thousands of years) often exhibit identical CRISPRs while more distantly related strains (MLST distance of >0.01) exhibit completely different CRISPRs. This suggests rare but radical turnover of spacers in CRISPRs rather than CRISPR gradual change. We found no link between the presence, size, or content of CRISPRs and the lifestyle of the strains. Our data suggest that, within the E. coli species, CRISPRs do not have the expected characteristics of a classical immune system.

  12. Prevalence, conservation and functional analysis of Yersinia and Escherichia CRISPR regions in clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates

    PubMed Central

    Cady, K. C.; White, A. S.; Hammond, J. H.; Abendroth, M. D.; Karthikeyan, R. S. G.; Lalitha, P.; Zegans, M. E.; O'Toole, G. A.

    2011-01-01

    Here, we report the characterization of 122 Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from three distinct geographical locations: Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, USA, the Charles T. Campbell Eye Microbiology Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, USA, and the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. We identified and located clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in 45/122 clinical isolates and sequenced these CRISPR, finding that Yersinia subtype CRISPR regions (33 %) were more prevalent than the Escherichia CRISPR region subtype (6 %) in these P. aeruginosa clinical isolates. Further, we observed 132 unique spacers from these 45 CRISPR that are 100 % identical to prophages or sequenced temperate bacteriophage capable of becoming prophages. Most intriguingly, all of these 132 viral spacers matched to temperate bacteriophage/prophages capable of inserting into the host chromosome, but not to extrachromosomally replicating lytic P. aeruginosa bacteriophage. We next assessed the ability of the more prevalent Yersinia subtype CRISPR regions to mediate resistance to bacteriophage infection or lysogeny by deleting the entire CRISPR region from sequenced strain UCBPP-PA14 and six clinical isolates. We found no change in CRISPR-mediated resistance to bacteriophage infection or lysogeny rate even for CRISPR with spacers 100 % identical to a region of the infecting bacteriophage. Lastly, to show these CRISPR and cas genes were expressed and functional, we demonstrated production of small CRISPR RNAs. This work provides both the first examination to our knowledge of CRISPR regions within clinical P. aeruginosa isolates and a collection of defined CRISPR-positive and -negative strains for further CRISPR and cas gene studies. PMID:21081758

  13. Prevalence, conservation and functional analysis of Yersinia and Escherichia CRISPR regions in clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates.

    PubMed

    Cady, K C; White, A S; Hammond, J H; Abendroth, M D; Karthikeyan, R S G; Lalitha, P; Zegans, M E; O'Toole, G A

    2011-02-01

    Here, we report the characterization of 122 Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from three distinct geographical locations: Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, USA, the Charles T. Campbell Eye Microbiology Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, USA, and the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. We identified and located clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in 45/122 clinical isolates and sequenced these CRISPR, finding that Yersinia subtype CRISPR regions (33 %) were more prevalent than the Escherichia CRISPR region subtype (6 %) in these P. aeruginosa clinical isolates. Further, we observed 132 unique spacers from these 45 CRISPR that are 100 % identical to prophages or sequenced temperate bacteriophage capable of becoming prophages. Most intriguingly, all of these 132 viral spacers matched to temperate bacteriophage/prophages capable of inserting into the host chromosome, but not to extrachromosomally replicating lytic P. aeruginosa bacteriophage. We next assessed the ability of the more prevalent Yersinia subtype CRISPR regions to mediate resistance to bacteriophage infection or lysogeny by deleting the entire CRISPR region from sequenced strain UCBPP-PA14 and six clinical isolates. We found no change in CRISPR-mediated resistance to bacteriophage infection or lysogeny rate even for CRISPR with spacers 100 % identical to a region of the infecting bacteriophage. Lastly, to show these CRISPR and cas genes were expressed and functional, we demonstrated production of small CRISPR RNAs. This work provides both the first examination to our knowledge of CRISPR regions within clinical P. aeruginosa isolates and a collection of defined CRISPR-positive and -negative strains for further CRISPR and cas gene studies.

  14. Erwinia amylovora CRISPR Elements Provide New Tools for Evaluating Strain Diversity and for Microbial Source Tracking

    PubMed Central

    McGhee, Gayle C.; Sundin, George W.

    2012-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) comprise a family of short DNA repeat sequences that are separated by non repetitive spacer sequences and, in combination with a suite of Cas proteins, are thought to function as an adaptive immune system against invading DNA. The number of CRISPR arrays in a bacterial chromosome is variable, and the content of each array can differ in both repeat number and in the presence or absence of specific spacers. We utilized a comparative sequence analysis of CRISPR arrays of the plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora to uncover previously unknown genetic diversity in this species. A total of 85 E. amylovora strains varying in geographic isolation (North America, Europe, New Zealand, and the Middle East), host range, plasmid content, and streptomycin sensitivity/resistance were evaluated for CRISPR array number and spacer variability. From these strains, 588 unique spacers were identified in the three CRISPR arrays present in E. amylovora, and these arrays could be categorized into 20, 17, and 2 patterns types, respectively. Analysis of the relatedness of spacer content differentiated most apple and pear strains isolated in the eastern U.S. from western U.S. strains. In addition, we identified North American strains that shared CRISPR genotypes with strains isolated on other continents. E. amylovora strains from Rubus and Indian hawthorn contained mostly unique spacers compared to apple and pear strains, while strains from loquat shared 79% of spacers with apple and pear strains. Approximately 23% of the spacers matched known sequences, with 16% targeting plasmids and 5% targeting bacteriophage. The plasmid pEU30, isolated in E. amylovora strains from the western U.S., was targeted by 55 spacers. Lastly, we used spacer patterns and content to determine that streptomycin-resistant strains of E. amylovora from Michigan were low in diversity and matched corresponding streptomycin-sensitive strains from the

  15. Erwinia amylovora CRISPR elements provide new tools for evaluating strain diversity and for microbial source tracking.

    PubMed

    McGhee, Gayle C; Sundin, George W

    2012-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) comprise a family of short DNA repeat sequences that are separated by non repetitive spacer sequences and, in combination with a suite of Cas proteins, are thought to function as an adaptive immune system against invading DNA. The number of CRISPR arrays in a bacterial chromosome is variable, and the content of each array can differ in both repeat number and in the presence or absence of specific spacers. We utilized a comparative sequence analysis of CRISPR arrays of the plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora to uncover previously unknown genetic diversity in this species. A total of 85 E. amylovora strains varying in geographic isolation (North America, Europe, New Zealand, and the Middle East), host range, plasmid content, and streptomycin sensitivity/resistance were evaluated for CRISPR array number and spacer variability. From these strains, 588 unique spacers were identified in the three CRISPR arrays present in E. amylovora, and these arrays could be categorized into 20, 17, and 2 patterns types, respectively. Analysis of the relatedness of spacer content differentiated most apple and pear strains isolated in the eastern U.S. from western U.S. strains. In addition, we identified North American strains that shared CRISPR genotypes with strains isolated on other continents. E. amylovora strains from Rubus and Indian hawthorn contained mostly unique spacers compared to apple and pear strains, while strains from loquat shared 79% of spacers with apple and pear strains. Approximately 23% of the spacers matched known sequences, with 16% targeting plasmids and 5% targeting bacteriophage. The plasmid pEU30, isolated in E. amylovora strains from the western U.S., was targeted by 55 spacers. Lastly, we used spacer patterns and content to determine that streptomycin-resistant strains of E. amylovora from Michigan were low in diversity and matched corresponding streptomycin-sensitive strains from the

  16. Occurrence and activity of a type II CRISPR-Cas system in Lactobacillus gasseri.

    PubMed

    Sanozky-Dawes, Rosemary; Selle, Kurt; O'Flaherty, Sarah; Klaenhammer, Todd; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2015-09-01

    Bacteria encode clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and CRISPR-associated genes (cas), which collectively form an RNA-guided adaptive immune system against invasive genetic elements. In silico surveys have revealed that lactic acid bacteria harbour a prolific and diverse set of CRISPR-Cas systems. Thus, the natural evolutionary role of CRISPR-Cas systems may be investigated in these ecologically, industrially, scientifically and medically important microbes. In this study, 17 Lactobacillus gasseri strains were investigated and 6 harboured a type II-A CRISPR-Cas system, with considerable diversity in array size and spacer content. Several of the spacers showed similarity to phage and plasmid sequences, which are typical targets of CRISPR-Cas immune systems. Aligning the protospacers facilitated inference of the protospacer adjacent motif sequence, determined to be 5'-NTAA-3' flanking the 3' end of the protospacer. The system in L. gasseri JV-V03 and NCK 1342 interfered with transforming plasmids containing sequences matching the most recently acquired CRISPR spacers in each strain. We report the distribution and function of a native type II-A CRISPR-Cas system in the commensal species L. gasseri. Collectively, these results open avenues for applications for bacteriophage protection and genome modification in L. gasseri, and contribute to the fundamental understanding of CRISPR-Cas systems in bacteria.

  17. Impact of Different Target Sequences on Type III CRISPR-Cas Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Maniv, Inbal; Jiang, Wenyan; Bikard, David

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci encode an adaptive immune system of prokaryotes. Within these loci, sequences intercalated between repeats known as “spacers” specify the targets of CRISPR immunity. The majority of spacers match sequences present in phages and plasmids; however, it is not known whether there are differences in the immunity provided against these diverse invaders. We studied this issue using the Staphylococcus epidermidis CRISPR system, which harbors spacers matching both phages and plasmids. We determined that this CRISPR system provides similar levels of defense against the conjugative plasmid pG0400 and the bacteriophage CNPX. However, whereas antiplasmid immunity was very sensitive to the introduction of mismatches in the target sequence, mutations in the phage target were largely tolerated. Placing the phage and plasmid targets into a vector that can be both conjugated and transduced, we demonstrated that the route of entry of the target has no impact on the effect of the mismatches on immunity. Instead, we established that the specific sequences of each spacer/target determine the susceptibility of the S. epidermidis CRISPR system to mutations. Therefore, spacers that are more resistant to mismatches would provide long-term immunity against phages and plasmids that otherwise would escape CRISPR targeting through the accumulation of mutations in the target sequence. These results uncover an unexpected complexity in the arms race between CRISPR-Cas systems and prokaryotic infectious genetic elements. IMPORTANCE CRISPR-Cas loci protect bacteria and archaea from both phage infection and plasmid invasion. These loci harbor short sequences of phage and plasmid origin known as “spacers” that specify the targets of CRISPR-Cas immunity. The presence of a spacer sequence matching a phage or plasmid ensures host immunity against infection by these genetic elements. In turn, phages and plasmids

  18. CRISPR Distribution within the Escherichia coli Species Is Not Suggestive of Immunity-Associated Diversifying Selection ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Touchon, Marie; Charpentier, Sophie; Clermont, Olivier; Rocha, Eduardo P. C.; Denamur, Erick; Branger, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    In order to get further insights into the role of the clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) in Escherichia coli, we analyzed the CRISPR diversity in a collection of 290 strains, in the phylogenetic framework of the strains represented by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The set included 263 natural E. coli isolates exposed to various environments and isolated over a 20-year period from humans and animals, as well as 27 fully sequenced strains. Our analyses confirm that there are two largely independent pairs of CRISPR loci (CRISPR1 and -2 and CRISPR3 and -4), each associated with a different type of cas genes (Ecoli and Ypest, respectively), but that each pair of CRISPRs has similar dynamics. Strikingly, the major phylogenetic group B2 is almost devoid of CRISPRs. The majority of genomes analyzed lack Ypest cas genes and contain CRISPR3 with spacers matching Ypest cas genes. The analysis of relatedness between strains in terms of spacer repertoire and the MLST tree shows a pattern where closely related strains (MLST phylogenetic distance of <0.005 corresponding to at least hundreds of thousands of years) often exhibit identical CRISPRs while more distantly related strains (MLST distance of >0.01) exhibit completely different CRISPRs. This suggests rare but radical turnover of spacers in CRISPRs rather than CRISPR gradual change. We found no link between the presence, size, or content of CRISPRs and the lifestyle of the strains. Our data suggest that, within the E. coli species, CRISPRs do not have the expected characteristics of a classical immune system. PMID:21421763

  19. Comparative analysis of CRISPR cassettes from the human gut metagenomic contigs.

    PubMed

    Gogleva, Anna A; Gelfand, Mikhail S; Artamonova, Irena I

    2014-03-17

    CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a prokaryotic adaptive defence system that provides resistance against alien replicons such as viruses and plasmids. Spacers in a CRISPR cassette confer immunity against viruses and plasmids containing regions complementary to the spacers and hence they retain a footprint of interactions between prokaryotes and their viruses in individual strains and ecosystems. The human gut is a rich habitat populated by numerous microorganisms, but a large fraction of these are unculturable and little is known about them in general and their CRISPR systems in particular. We used human gut metagenomic data from three open projects in order to characterize the composition and dynamics of CRISPR cassettes in the human-associated microbiota. Applying available CRISPR-identification algorithms and a previously designed filtering procedure to the assembled human gut metagenomic contigs, we found 388 CRISPR cassettes, 373 of which had repeats not observed previously in complete genomes or other datasets. Only 171 of 3,545 identified spacers were coupled with protospacers from the human gut metagenomic contigs. The number of matches to GenBank sequences was negligible, providing protospacers for 26 spacers.Reconstruction of CRISPR cassettes allowed us to track the dynamics of spacer content. In agreement with other published observations we show that spacers shared by different cassettes (and hence likely older ones) tend to the trailer ends, whereas spacers with matches in the metagenomes are distributed unevenly across cassettes, demonstrating a preference to form clusters closer to the active end of a CRISPR cassette, adjacent to the leader, and hence suggesting dynamical interactions between prokaryotes and viruses in the human gut. Remarkably, spacers match protospacers in the metagenome of the same individual with frequency comparable to a random control, but may match protospacers from metagenomes of other

  20. Insights into the CRISPR/Cas system of Gardnerella vaginalis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Gardnerella vaginalis is identified as the predominant colonist of the vaginal tracts of women diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis (BV). G. vaginalis can be isolated from healthy women, and an asymptomatic BV state is also recognised. The association of G. vaginalis with different clinical phenotypes could be explained by different cytotoxicity of the strains, presumably based on disparate gene content. The contribution of horizontal gene transfer to shaping the genomes of G. vaginalis is acknowledged. The CRISPR loci of the recently discovered CRISPR/Cas microbial defence system provide a historical view of the exposure of prokaryotes to a variety of foreign genetic elements. Results The CRISPR/Cas loci were analysed using available sequence data from three G. vaginalis complete genomes and 18 G. vaginalis draft genomes in the NCBI database, as well as PCR amplicons of the genomic DNA of 17 clinical isolates. The cas genes in the CRISPR/Cas loci of G. vaginalis belong to the E. coli subtype. Approximately 20% of the spacers had matches in the GenBank database. Sequence analysis of the CRISPR arrays revealed that nearly half of the spacers matched G. vaginalis chromosomal sequences. The spacers that matched G. vaginalis chromosomal sequences were determined to not be self-targeting and were presumably neither constituents of mobile-element-associated genes nor derived from plasmids/viruses. The protospacers targeted by these spacers displayed conserved protospacer-adjacent motifs. Conclusions The CRISPR/Cas system has been identified in about one half of the analysed G. vaginalis strains. Our analysis of CRISPR sequences did not reveal a potential link between their presence and the virulence of the G. vaginalis strains. Based on the origins of the spacers found in the G. vaginalis CRISPR arrays, we hypothesise that the transfer of genetic material among G. vaginalis strains could be regulated by the CRISPR/Cas mechanism. The present study is the first

  1. Abundant and Diverse Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat Spacers in Clostridium difficile Strains and Prophages Target Multiple Phage Types within This Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Hargreaves, Katherine R.; Flores, Cesar O.; Lawley, Trevor D.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Clostridium difficile is an important human-pathogenic bacterium causing antibiotic-associated nosocomial infections worldwide. Mobile genetic elements and bacteriophages have helped shape C. difficile genome evolution. In many bacteria, phage infection may be controlled by a form of bacterial immunity called the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated (CRISPR/Cas) system. This uses acquired short nucleotide sequences (spacers) to target homologous sequences (protospacers) in phage genomes. C. difficile carries multiple CRISPR arrays, and in this paper we examine the relationships between the host- and phage-carried elements of the system. We detected multiple matches between spacers and regions in 31 C. difficile phage and prophage genomes. A subset of the spacers was located in prophage-carried CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR spacer profiles generated suggest that related phages would have similar host ranges. Furthermore, we show that C. difficile strains of the same ribotype could either have similar or divergent CRISPR contents. Both synonymous and nonsynonymous mutations in the protospacer sequences were identified, as well as differences in the protospacer adjacent motif (PAM), which could explain how phages escape this system. This paper illustrates how the distribution and diversity of CRISPR spacers in C. difficile, and its prophages, could modulate phage predation for this pathogen and impact upon its evolution and pathogenicity. PMID:25161187

  2. [Detection of CRISPR and its relationship to drug resistance in Shigella].

    PubMed

    Wang, Linlin; Wang, Yingfang; Duan, Guangcai; Xue, Zerun; Guo, Xiangjiao; Wang, Pengfei; Xi, Yuanlin; Yang, Haiyan

    2015-04-04

    To detect clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in Shigella, and to analyze its relationship to drug resistance. Four pairs of primers were used for the detection of convincing CRISPR structures CRISPR-S2 and CRISPR-S4, questionable CRISPR structures CRISPR-S1 and CRISPR-S3 in 60 Shigella strains. All primers were designed using sequences in CRISPR database. CRISPR Finder was used to analyze CRISPR and susceptibilities of Shigella strains were tested by agar diffusion method. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between drug resistance and CRISPR-S4. The positive rate of convincing CRISPR structures was 95%. The four CRISPR loci formed 12 spectral patterns (A-L), all of which contained convincing CRISPR structures except type K. We found one new repeat and 12 new spacers. The multi-drug resistance rate was 53. 33% . We found no significant difference between CRISPR-S4 and drug resistant. However, the repeat sequence of CRISPR-S4 in multi- or TE-resistance strains was mainly R4.1 with AC deletions in the 3' end, and the spacer sequences of CRISPR-S4 in multi-drug resistance strains were mainly Sp5.1, Sp6.1 and Sp7. CRISPR was common in Shigella. Variations df repeat sequences and diversities of spacer sequences might be related to drug resistance in Shigella.

  3. Diverse CRISPRs evolving in human microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Rho, Mina; Wu, Yu-Wei; Tang, Haixu; Doak, Thomas G; Ye, Yuzhen

    2012-01-01

    CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) loci, together with cas (CRISPR-associated) genes, form the CRISPR/Cas adaptive immune system, a primary defense strategy that eubacteria and archaea mobilize against foreign nucleic acids, including phages and conjugative plasmids. Short spacer sequences separated by the repeats are derived from foreign DNA and direct interference to future infections. The availability of hundreds of shotgun metagenomic datasets from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) enables us to explore the distribution and diversity of known CRISPRs in human-associated microbial communities and to discover new CRISPRs. We propose a targeted assembly strategy to reconstruct CRISPR arrays, which whole-metagenome assemblies fail to identify. For each known CRISPR type (identified from reference genomes), we use its direct repeat consensus sequence to recruit reads from each HMP dataset and then assemble the recruited reads into CRISPR loci; the unique spacer sequences can then be extracted for analysis. We also identified novel CRISPRs or new CRISPR variants in contigs from whole-metagenome assemblies and used targeted assembly to more comprehensively identify these CRISPRs across samples. We observed that the distributions of CRISPRs (including 64 known and 86 novel ones) are largely body-site specific. We provide detailed analysis of several CRISPR loci, including novel CRISPRs. For example, known streptococcal CRISPRs were identified in most oral microbiomes, totaling ∼8,000 unique spacers: samples resampled from the same individual and oral site shared the most spacers; different oral sites from the same individual shared significantly fewer, while different individuals had almost no common spacers, indicating the impact of subtle niche differences on the evolution of CRISPR defenses. We further demonstrate potential applications of CRISPRs to the tracing of rare species and the virus exposure of individuals. This work

  4. Antibiotic resistance plasmids spread among natural isolates of Escherichia coli in spite of CRISPR elements.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Marie; Charpentier, Sophie; Pognard, Dominique; Picard, Bertrand; Arlet, Guillaume; Rocha, Eduardo P C; Denamur, Erick; Branger, Catherine

    2012-12-01

    Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) are implicated in defence against foreign DNA in various archaeal and bacterial species. They have also been associated with a slower spread of antibiotic resistance. However, experimental and evolutionary studies raise doubts about the role of CRISPRs as a sort of immune system in Escherichia coli. We studied a collection of 263 natural E. coli isolates from human and animal hosts, representative of the phylogenetic and lifestyle diversity of the species and exhibiting various levels of plasmid-encoded antibiotic resistance. We characterized the strains in terms of CRISPRs, performed replicon typing of the plasmids and tested for class 1 integrons to explore the possible association between CRISPRs and the absence of plasmids and mobile antibiotic resistance determinants. We found no meaningful association between the presence/absence of the cas genes, reflecting the activity of the CRISPRs, and the presence of plasmids, integrons or antibiotic resistance. No CRISPR in the collection contained a spacer that matched an antibiotic resistance gene or element involved in antibiotic resistance gene mobilization, and 79.8 % (210/263) of the strains lacked spacers matching sequences in the 2282 plasmid genomes available. Hence, E. coli CRISPRs do not seem to be efficient barriers to the spread of plasmids and antibiotic resistance, consistent with what has been reported for phages, and contrary to reports concerning other species.

  5. Antibiotic resistance plasmids spread among natural isolates of Escherichia coli in spite of CRISPR elements.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Marie; Charpentier, Sophie; Pognard, Dominique; Picard, Bertrand; Arlet, Guillaume; Rocha, Eduardo P C; Denamur, Erick; Branger, Catherine

    2012-12-01

    Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) are implicated in defence against foreign DNA in various archaeal and bacterial species. They have also been associated with a slower spread of antibiotic resistance. However, experimental and evolutionary studies raise doubts about the role of CRISPRs as a sort of immune system in Escherichia coli. We studied a collection of 263 natural E. coli isolates from human and animal hosts, representative of the phylogenetic and lifestyle diversity of the species and exhibiting various levels of plasmid-encoded antibiotic resistance. We characterized the strains in terms of CRISPRs, performed replicon typing of the plasmids and tested for class 1 integrons to explore the possible association between CRISPRs and the absence of plasmids and mobile antibiotic resistance determinants. We found no meaningful association between the presence/absence of the cas genes, reflecting the activity of the CRISPRs, and the presence of plasmids, integrons or antibiotic resistance. No CRISPR in the collection contained a spacer that matched an antibiotic resistance gene or element involved in antibiotic resistance gene mobilization, and 79.8% (210/263) of the strains lacked spacers matching sequences in the 2282 plasmid genomes available. Hence, E. coli CRISPRs do not seem to be efficient barriers to the spread of plasmids and antibiotic resistance, consistent with what has been reported for phages, and contrary to reports concerning other species.

  6. Friendly Fire: Biological Functions and Consequences of Chromosomal Targeting by CRISPR-Cas Systems

    PubMed Central

    Heussler, Gary E.

    2016-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated (Cas) systems in bacteria and archaea target foreign elements, such as bacteriophages and conjugative plasmids, through the incorporation of short sequences (termed spacers) from the foreign element into the CRISPR array, thereby allowing sequence-specific targeting of the invader. Thus, CRISPR-Cas systems are typically considered a microbial adaptive immune system. While many of these incorporated spacers match targets on bacteriophages and plasmids, a noticeable number are derived from chromosomal DNA. While usually lethal to the self-targeting bacteria, in certain circumstances, these self-targeting spacers can have profound effects in regard to microbial biology, including functions beyond adaptive immunity. In this minireview, we discuss recent studies that focus on the functions and consequences of CRISPR-Cas self-targeting, including reshaping of the host population, group behavior modification, and the potential applications of CRISPR-Cas self-targeting as a tool in microbial biotechnology. Understanding the effects of CRISPR-Cas self-targeting is vital to fully understanding the spectrum of function of these systems. PMID:26929301

  7. Computational prediction of CRISPR cassettes in gut metagenome samples from Chinese type-2 diabetic patients and healthy controls.

    PubMed

    Mangericao, Tatiana C; Peng, Zhanhao; Zhang, Xuegong

    2016-01-11

    CRISPR has been becoming a hot topic as a powerful technique for genome editing for human and other higher organisms. The original CRISPR-Cas (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats coupled with CRISPR-associated proteins) is an important adaptive defence system for prokaryotes that provides resistance against invading elements such as viruses and plasmids. A CRISPR cassette contains short nucleotide sequences called spacers. These unique regions retain a history of the interactions between prokaryotes and their invaders in individual strains and ecosystems. One important ecosystem in the human body is the human gut, a rich habitat populated by a great diversity of microorganisms. Gut microbiomes are important for human physiology and health. Metagenome sequencing has been widely applied for studying the gut microbiomes. Most efforts in metagenome study has been focused on profiling taxa compositions and gene catalogues and identifying their associations with human health. Less attention has been paid to the analysis of the ecosystems of microbiomes themselves especially their CRISPR composition. We conducted a preliminary analysis of CRISPR sequences in a human gut metagenomic data set of Chinese individuals of type-2 diabetes patients and healthy controls. Applying an available CRISPR-identification algorithm, PILER-CR, we identified 3169 CRISPR cassettes in the data, from which we constructed a set of 1302 unique repeat sequences and 36,709 spacers. A more extensive analysis was made for the CRISPR repeats: these repeats were submitted to a more comprehensive clustering and classification using the web server tool CRISPRmap. All repeats were compared with known CRISPRs in the database CRISPRdb. A total of 784 repeats had matches in the database, and the remaining 518 repeats from our set are potentially novel ones. The computational analysis of CRISPR composition based contigs of metagenome sequencing data is feasible. It provides an efficient

  8. Cytotoxic chromosomal targeting by CRISPR/Cas systems can reshape bacterial genomes and expel or remodel pathogenicity islands.

    PubMed

    Vercoe, Reuben B; Chang, James T; Dy, Ron L; Taylor, Corinda; Gristwood, Tamzin; Clulow, James S; Richter, Corinna; Przybilski, Rita; Pitman, Andrew R; Fineran, Peter C

    2013-04-01

    In prokaryotes, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and their associated (Cas) proteins constitute a defence system against bacteriophages and plasmids. CRISPR/Cas systems acquire short spacer sequences from foreign genetic elements and incorporate these into their CRISPR arrays, generating a memory of past invaders. Defence is provided by short non-coding RNAs that guide Cas proteins to cleave complementary nucleic acids. While most spacers are acquired from phages and plasmids, there are examples of spacers that match genes elsewhere in the host bacterial chromosome. In Pectobacterium atrosepticum the type I-F CRISPR/Cas system has acquired a self-complementary spacer that perfectly matches a protospacer target in a horizontally acquired island (HAI2) involved in plant pathogenicity. Given the paucity of experimental data about CRISPR/Cas-mediated chromosomal targeting, we examined this process by developing a tightly controlled system. Chromosomal targeting was highly toxic via targeting of DNA and resulted in growth inhibition and cellular filamentation. The toxic phenotype was avoided by mutations in the cas operon, the CRISPR repeats, the protospacer target, and protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM) beside the target. Indeed, the natural self-targeting spacer was non-toxic due to a single nucleotide mutation adjacent to the target in the PAM sequence. Furthermore, we show that chromosomal targeting can result in large-scale genomic alterations, including the remodelling or deletion of entire pre-existing pathogenicity islands. These features can be engineered for the targeted deletion of large regions of bacterial chromosomes. In conclusion, in DNA-targeting CRISPR/Cas systems, chromosomal interference is deleterious by causing DNA damage and providing a strong selective pressure for genome alterations, which may have consequences for bacterial evolution and pathogenicity.

  9. Cytotoxic Chromosomal Targeting by CRISPR/Cas Systems Can Reshape Bacterial Genomes and Expel or Remodel Pathogenicity Islands

    PubMed Central

    Vercoe, Reuben B.; Chang, James T.; Dy, Ron L.; Taylor, Corinda; Gristwood, Tamzin; Clulow, James S.; Richter, Corinna; Przybilski, Rita; Pitman, Andrew R.; Fineran, Peter C.

    2013-01-01

    In prokaryotes, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and their associated (Cas) proteins constitute a defence system against bacteriophages and plasmids. CRISPR/Cas systems acquire short spacer sequences from foreign genetic elements and incorporate these into their CRISPR arrays, generating a memory of past invaders. Defence is provided by short non-coding RNAs that guide Cas proteins to cleave complementary nucleic acids. While most spacers are acquired from phages and plasmids, there are examples of spacers that match genes elsewhere in the host bacterial chromosome. In Pectobacterium atrosepticum the type I-F CRISPR/Cas system has acquired a self-complementary spacer that perfectly matches a protospacer target in a horizontally acquired island (HAI2) involved in plant pathogenicity. Given the paucity of experimental data about CRISPR/Cas–mediated chromosomal targeting, we examined this process by developing a tightly controlled system. Chromosomal targeting was highly toxic via targeting of DNA and resulted in growth inhibition and cellular filamentation. The toxic phenotype was avoided by mutations in the cas operon, the CRISPR repeats, the protospacer target, and protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM) beside the target. Indeed, the natural self-targeting spacer was non-toxic due to a single nucleotide mutation adjacent to the target in the PAM sequence. Furthermore, we show that chromosomal targeting can result in large-scale genomic alterations, including the remodelling or deletion of entire pre-existing pathogenicity islands. These features can be engineered for the targeted deletion of large regions of bacterial chromosomes. In conclusion, in DNA–targeting CRISPR/Cas systems, chromosomal interference is deleterious by causing DNA damage and providing a strong selective pressure for genome alterations, which may have consequences for bacterial evolution and pathogenicity. PMID:23637624

  10. Characterization of bacteriophage communities and CRISPR profiles from dental plaque.

    PubMed

    Naidu, Mayuri; Robles-Sikisaka, Refugio; Abeles, Shira R; Boehm, Tobias K; Pride, David T

    2014-06-30

    Dental plaque is home to a diverse and complex community of bacteria, but has generally been believed to be inhabited by relatively few viruses. We sampled the saliva and dental plaque from 4 healthy human subjects to determine whether plaque was populated by viral communities, and whether there were differences in viral communities specific to subject or sample type. We found that the plaque was inhabited by a community of bacteriophage whose membership was mostly subject-specific. There was a significant proportion of viral homologues shared between plaque and salivary viromes within each subject, suggesting that some oral viruses were present in both sites. We also characterized Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) in oral streptococci, as their profiles provide clues to the viruses that oral bacteria may be able to counteract. While there were some CRISPR spacers specific to each sample type, many more were shared across sites and were highly subject specific. Many CRISPR spacers matched viruses present in plaque, suggesting that the evolution of CRISPR loci may have been specific to plaque-derived viruses. Our findings of subject specificity to both plaque-derived viruses and CRISPR profiles suggest that human viral ecology may be highly personalized.

  11. Characterization of bacteriophage communities and CRISPR profiles from dental plaque

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Dental plaque is home to a diverse and complex community of bacteria, but has generally been believed to be inhabited by relatively few viruses. We sampled the saliva and dental plaque from 4 healthy human subjects to determine whether plaque was populated by viral communities, and whether there were differences in viral communities specific to subject or sample type. Results We found that the plaque was inhabited by a community of bacteriophage whose membership was mostly subject-specific. There was a significant proportion of viral homologues shared between plaque and salivary viromes within each subject, suggesting that some oral viruses were present in both sites. We also characterized Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) in oral streptococci, as their profiles provide clues to the viruses that oral bacteria may be able to counteract. While there were some CRISPR spacers specific to each sample type, many more were shared across sites and were highly subject specific. Many CRISPR spacers matched viruses present in plaque, suggesting that the evolution of CRISPR loci may have been specific to plaque-derived viruses. Conclusions Our findings of subject specificity to both plaque-derived viruses and CRISPR profiles suggest that human viral ecology may be highly personalized. PMID:24981669

  12. The Contribution of Genetic Recombination to CRISPR Array Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kupczok, Anne; Landan, Giddy; Dagan, Tal

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a microbial immune system against foreign DNA. Recognition sequences (spacers) encoded within the CRISPR array mediate the immune reaction in a sequence-specific manner. The known mechanisms for the evolution of CRISPR arrays include spacer acquisition from foreign DNA elements at the time of invasion and array erosion through spacer deletion. Here, we consider the contribution of genetic recombination between homologous CRISPR arrays to the evolution of spacer repertoire. Acquisition of spacers from exogenic arrays via recombination may confer the recipient with immunity against unencountered antagonists. For this purpose, we develop a novel method for the detection of recombination in CRISPR arrays by modeling the spacer order in arrays from multiple strains from the same species. Because the evolutionary signal of spacer recombination may be similar to that of pervasive spacer deletions or independent spacer acquisition, our method entails a robustness analysis of the recombination inference by a statistical comparison to resampled and perturbed data sets. We analyze CRISPR data sets from four bacterial species: two Gammaproteobacteria species harboring CRISPR type I and two Streptococcus species harboring CRISPR type II loci. We find that CRISPR array evolution in Escherichia coli and Streptococcus agalactiae can be explained solely by vertical inheritance and differential spacer deletion. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we find an excess of single spacers potentially incorporated into the CRISPR locus during independent acquisition events. In Streptococcus thermophilus, evidence for spacer acquisition by recombination is present in 5 out of 70 strains. Genetic recombination has been proposed to accelerate adaptation by combining beneficial mutations that arose in independent lineages. However, for most species under study, we find that CRISPR evolution is shaped mainly by spacer acquisition and

  13. CRISPR Interference Limits Horizontal Gene Transfer in Staphylococci by Targeting DNA

    PubMed Central

    Marraffini, Luciano A.; Sontheimer, Erik J.

    2009-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacteria and archaea occurs through phage transduction, transformation, or conjugation, and the latter is particularly important for the spread of antibiotic resistance. Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci confer sequence-directed immunity against phages. A clinical isolate of Staphylococcus epidermidis harbors a CRISPR spacer that matches the nickase gene present in nearly all staphylococcal conjugative plasmids. Here we show that CRISPR interference prevents conjugation and plasmid transformation in S. epidermidis. Insertion of a self-splicing intron into nickase blocks interference despite the reconstitution of the target sequence in the spliced mRNA, indicating that the interference machinery targets DNA directly. We conclude that CRISPR loci counteract multiple routes of HGT and can limit the spread of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria. PMID:19095942

  14. [Changes of resistant phenotype and CRISPR/Cas system of four Shigella strains passaged for 90 times without antibiotics].

    PubMed

    Zhang, B; Hong, L J; Duan, G C; Liang, W J; Yang, H Y; Xi, Y L

    2017-02-10

    Objective: To explore the stability of resistant phenotypes and changes of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) gene system on four Shigella strains in the absence of antibiotics. Methods: Four clinical isolated Shigella strains that resistant to different antibiotics were consecutive passaged for 90 times without antibiotics. Agar dilution method was used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration of Shigella strains. After sequence analysis with PCR, CRISPR Finder and Clustal X 2.1 were applied to identify the changes of CRISPR loci in the Shigella strains. Results: After the consecutive transfer of 90 generations, sensitivity to certain antibiotics of four Shigella strains with different drug resistant spectrums increased. Mel-sf1998024/zz resistance to ampicillin, cephalexin, cefotaxime, chloramphenicol decreased, mel-s2014026/sx resistance to norfloxacin, trimethoprim decreased, mel-sf2004004/sx drug resistance to ampicillin, cefuroxime, cefotaxime, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim decreased and mel-sf2013004/bj resistance to chloramphenicol decreased. The spacer of which matched gene codes Cas and its upstream repeat in 3'end of CRISPR3 got lost in mel-sf1998024/zz and mel-sf2013004/bj. Conclusions:Shigella strains could reduce or lose their resistance to some antibiotics after consecutive transfers, without the interference of antibiotics. CRISPR3 locus had dynamic spacers in Shigella strains while CRISPR3 locus and cas genes might have been co-evolved.

  15. Not all predicted CRISPR-Cas systems are equal: isolated cas genes and classes of CRISPR like elements.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Quan; Ye, Yuzhen

    2017-02-06

    The CRISPR-Cas systems in prokaryotes are RNA-guided immune systems that target and deactivate foreign nucleic acids. A typical CRISPR-Cas system consists of a CRISPR array of repeat and spacer units, and a locus of cas genes. The CRISPR and the cas locus are often located next to each other in the genomes. However, there is no quantitative estimate of the co-location. In addition, ad-hoc studies have shown that some non-CRISPR genomic elements contain repeat-spacer-like structures and are mistaken as CRISPRs. Using available genome sequences, we observed that a significant number of genomes have isolated cas loci and/or CRISPRs. We found that 11%, 22% and 28% of the type I, II and III cas loci are isolated (without CRISPRs in the same genomes at all or with CRISPRs distant in the genomes), respectively. We identified a large number of genomic elements that superficially reassemble CRISPRs but don't contain diverse spacers and have no companion cas genes. We called these elements false-CRISPRs and further classified them into groups, including tandem repeats and Staphylococcus aureus repeat (STAR)-like elements. This is the first systematic study to collect and characterize false-CRISPR elements. We demonstrated that false-CRISPRs could be used to reduce the false annotation of CRISPRs, therefore showing them to be useful for improving the annotation of CRISPR-Cas systems.

  16. The population and evolutionary dynamics of phage and bacteria with CRISPR-mediated immunity.

    PubMed

    Levin, Bruce R; Moineau, Sylvain; Bushman, Mary; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2013-01-01

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), together with associated genes (cas), form the CRISPR-cas adaptive immune system, which can provide resistance to viruses and plasmids in bacteria and archaea. Here, we use mathematical models, population dynamic experiments, and DNA sequence analyses to investigate the host-phage interactions in a model CRISPR-cas system, Streptococcus thermophilus DGCC7710 and its virulent phage 2972. At the molecular level, the bacteriophage-immune mutant bacteria (BIMs) and CRISPR-escape mutant phage (CEMs) obtained in this study are consistent with those anticipated from an iterative model of this adaptive immune system: resistance by the addition of novel spacers and phage evasion of resistance by mutation in matching sequences or flanking motifs. While CRISPR BIMs were readily isolated and CEMs generated at high rates (frequencies in excess of 10(-6)), our population studies indicate that there is more to the dynamics of phage-host interactions and the establishment of a BIM-CEM arms race than predicted from existing assumptions about phage infection and CRISPR-cas immunity. Among the unanticipated observations are: (i) the invasion of phage into populations of BIMs resistant by the acquisition of one (but not two) spacers, (ii) the survival of sensitive bacteria despite the presence of high densities of phage, and (iii) the maintenance of phage-limited communities due to the failure of even two-spacer BIMs to become established in populations with wild-type bacteria and phage. We attribute (i) to incomplete resistance of single-spacer BIMs. Based on the results of additional modeling and experiments, we postulate that (ii) and (iii) can be attributed to the phage infection-associated production of enzymes or other compounds that induce phenotypic phage resistance in sensitive bacteria and kill resistant BIMs. We present evidence in support of these hypotheses and discuss the implications of these results

  17. Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex CRISPR genotyping: improving efficiency, throughput and discriminative power of 'spoligotyping' with new spacers and a microbead-based hybridization assay.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Abadia, Edgar; Refregier, Guislaine; Tafaj, Silva; Boschiroli, Maria Laura; Guillard, Bertrand; Andremont, Antoine; Ruimy, Raymond; Sola, Christophe

    2010-03-01

    The aims of the present study were to implement a microbead-based 'spoligotyping' technique and to evaluate improvements by the addition of a panel of 25 extra spacers that we expected to provide an increased resolution on principal genetic group 1 (PGG 1) strains. We confirmed the high sensitivity and reproducibility of the classical technique using the 43 spacer panel and we obtained perfect agreement between the membrane-based and the microbead-based techniques. We further demonstrated an increase in the discriminative power of an extended 68 spacer format for differentiation of PGG 1 clinical isolates, in particular for the East African-Indian clade. Finally, we define a limited yet highly informative reduced 10 spacer panel set which could offer a more cost-effective option for implementation in resource-limited countries and that could decrease the need for additional VNTR (variable number of tandem repeats) genotyping work in molecular epidemiological studies. We also present an economic analysis comparing membrane-based and microbead-based techniques.

  18. Functional Analysis of Porphyromonas gingivalis W83 CRISPR-Cas Systems

    PubMed Central

    Burmistrz, Michał; Dudek, Bartosz; Staniec, Dominika; Rodriguez Martinez, Jose Ignacio; Bochtler, Matthias; Potempa, Jan

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated genes) system provides prokaryotic cells with an adaptive and heritable immune response to foreign genetic elements, such as viruses, plasmids, and transposons. It is present in the majority of Archaea and almost half of species of Bacteria. Porphyromonas gingivalis is an important human pathogen that has been proven to be an etiological agent of periodontitis and has been linked to systemic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease. At least 95% of clinical strains of P. gingivalis carry CRISPR arrays, suggesting that these arrays play an important function in vivo. Here we show that all four CRISPR arrays present in the P. gingivalis W83 genome are transcribed. For one of the arrays, we demonstrate in vivo activity against double-stranded DNA constructs containing protospacer sequences accompanied at the 3′ end by an NGG protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM). Most of the 44 spacers present in the genome of P. gingivalis W83 share no significant similarity with any known sequences, although 4 spacers are similar to sequences from bacteria found in the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract. Four spacers match genomic sequences of the host; however, none of these is flanked at its 3′ terminus by the appropriate PAM element. IMPORTANCE The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated genes) system is a unique system that provides prokaryotic cells with an adaptive and heritable immunity. In this report, we show that the CRISPR-Cas system of P. gingivalis, an important human pathogen associated with periodontitis and possibly also other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease, is active and provides protection from foreign genetic elements. Importantly, the data presented here may be useful for better understanding the communication between cells in larger bacterial

  19. Functional Analysis of Porphyromonas gingivalis W83 CRISPR-Cas Systems.

    PubMed

    Burmistrz, Michał; Dudek, Bartosz; Staniec, Dominika; Rodriguez Martinez, Jose Ignacio; Bochtler, Matthias; Potempa, Jan; Pyrc, Krzysztof

    2015-08-01

    The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated genes) system provides prokaryotic cells with an adaptive and heritable immune response to foreign genetic elements, such as viruses, plasmids, and transposons. It is present in the majority of Archaea and almost half of species of Bacteria. Porphyromonas gingivalis is an important human pathogen that has been proven to be an etiological agent of periodontitis and has been linked to systemic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease. At least 95% of clinical strains of P. gingivalis carry CRISPR arrays, suggesting that these arrays play an important function in vivo. Here we show that all four CRISPR arrays present in the P. gingivalis W83 genome are transcribed. For one of the arrays, we demonstrate in vivo activity against double-stranded DNA constructs containing protospacer sequences accompanied at the 3' end by an NGG protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM). Most of the 44 spacers present in the genome of P. gingivalis W83 share no significant similarity with any known sequences, although 4 spacers are similar to sequences from bacteria found in the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract. Four spacers match genomic sequences of the host; however, none of these is flanked at its 3' terminus by the appropriate PAM element. The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated genes) system is a unique system that provides prokaryotic cells with an adaptive and heritable immunity. In this report, we show that the CRISPR-Cas system of P. gingivalis, an important human pathogen associated with periodontitis and possibly also other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease, is active and provides protection from foreign genetic elements. Importantly, the data presented here may be useful for better understanding the communication between cells in larger bacterial communities and

  20. Diversity, Activity, and Evolution of CRISPR Loci in Streptococcus thermophilus▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Philippe; Romero, Dennis A.; Coûté-Monvoisin, Anne-Claire; Richards, Melissa; Deveau, Hélène; Moineau, Sylvain; Boyaval, Patrick; Fremaux, Christophe; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2008-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are hypervariable loci widely distributed in prokaryotes that provide acquired immunity against foreign genetic elements. Here, we characterize a novel Streptococcus thermophilus locus, CRISPR3, and experimentally demonstrate its ability to integrate novel spacers in response to bacteriophage. Also, we analyze CRISPR diversity and activity across three distinct CRISPR loci in several S. thermophilus strains. We show that both CRISPR repeats and cas genes are locus specific and functionally coupled. A total of 124 strains were studied, and 109 unique spacer arrangements were observed across the three CRISPR loci. Overall, 3,626 spacers were analyzed, including 2,829 for CRISPR1 (782 unique), 173 for CRISPR2 (16 unique), and 624 for CRISPR3 (154 unique). Sequence analysis of the spacers revealed homology and identity to phage sequences (77%), plasmid sequences (16%), and S. thermophilus chromosomal sequences (7%). Polymorphisms were observed for the CRISPR repeats, CRISPR spacers, cas genes, CRISPR motif, locus architecture, and specific sequence content. Interestingly, CRISPR loci evolved both via polarized addition of novel spacers after exposure to foreign genetic elements and via internal deletion of spacers. We hypothesize that the level of diversity is correlated with relative CRISPR activity and propose that the activity is highest for CRISPR1, followed by CRISPR3, while CRISPR2 may be degenerate. Globally, the dynamic nature of CRISPR loci might prove valuable for typing and comparative analyses of strains and microbial populations. Also, CRISPRs provide critical insights into the relationships between prokaryotes and their environments, notably the coevolution of host and viral genomes. PMID:18065539

  1. CRISPR-Cas Adaptive Immune Systems of the Sulfolobales: Unravelling Their Complexity and Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Garrett, Roger A.; Shah, Shiraz A.; Erdmann, Susanne; Liu, Guannan; Mousaei, Marzieh; León-Sobrino, Carlos; Peng, Wenfang; Gudbergsdottir, Soley; Deng, Ling; Vestergaard, Gisle; Peng, Xu; She, Qunxin

    2015-01-01

    The Sulfolobales have provided good model organisms for studying CRISPR-Cas systems of the crenarchaeal kingdom of the archaea. These organisms are infected by a wide range of exceptional archaea-specific viruses and conjugative plasmids, and their CRISPR-Cas systems generally exhibit extensive structural and functional diversity. They carry large and multiple CRISPR loci and often multiple copies of diverse Type I and Type III interference modules as well as more homogeneous adaptation modules. These acidothermophilic organisms have recently provided seminal insights into both the adaptation process, the diverse modes of interference, and their modes of regulation. The functions of the adaptation and interference modules tend to be loosely coupled and the stringency of the crRNA-DNA sequence matching during DNA interference is relatively low, in contrast to some more streamlined CRISPR-Cas systems of bacteria. Despite this, there is evidence for a complex and differential regulation of expression of the diverse functional modules in response to viral infection. Recent work also supports critical roles for non-core Cas proteins, especially during Type III-directed interference, and this is consistent with these proteins tending to coevolve with core Cas proteins. Various novel aspects of CRISPR-Cas systems of the Sulfolobales are considered including an alternative spacer acquisition mechanism, reversible spacer acquisition, the formation and significance of antisense CRISPR RNAs, and a novel mechanism for avoidance of CRISPR-Cas defense. Finally, questions regarding the basis for the complexity, diversity, and apparent redundancy, of the intracellular CRISPR-Cas systems are discussed. PMID:25764276

  2. CRISPR adaptation in Escherichia coli subtypeI-E system.

    PubMed

    Kiro, Ruth; Goren, Moran G; Yosef, Ido; Qimron, Udi

    2013-12-01

    The CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and their associated Cas (CRISPR-associated) proteins are a prokaryotic adaptive defence system against foreign nucleic acids. The CRISPR array comprises short repeats flanking short segments, called 'spacers', which are derived from foreign nucleic acids. The process of spacer insertion into the CRISPR array is termed 'adaptation'. Adaptation allows the system to rapidly evolve against emerging threats. In the present article, we review the most recent studies on the adaptation process, and focus primarily on the subtype I-E CRISPR-Cas system of Escherichia coli.

  3. Abundant and diverse clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat spacers in Clostridium difficile strains and prophages target multiple phage types within this pathogen.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Katherine R; Flores, Cesar O; Lawley, Trevor D; Clokie, Martha R J

    2014-08-26

    Clostridium difficile is an important human-pathogenic bacterium causing antibiotic-associated nosocomial infections worldwide. Mobile genetic elements and bacteriophages have helped shape C. difficile genome evolution. In many bacteria, phage infection may be controlled by a form of bacterial immunity called the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated (CRISPR/Cas) system. This uses acquired short nucleotide sequences (spacers) to target homologous sequences (protospacers) in phage genomes. C. difficile carries multiple CRISPR arrays, and in this paper we examine the relationships between the host- and phage-carried elements of the system. We detected multiple matches between spacers and regions in 31 C. difficile phage and prophage genomes. A subset of the spacers was located in prophage-carried CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR spacer profiles generated suggest that related phages would have similar host ranges. Furthermore, we show that C. difficile strains of the same ribotype could either have similar or divergent CRISPR contents. Both synonymous and nonsynonymous mutations in the protospacer sequences were identified, as well as differences in the protospacer adjacent motif (PAM), which could explain how phages escape this system. This paper illustrates how the distribution and diversity of CRISPR spacers in C. difficile, and its prophages, could modulate phage predation for this pathogen and impact upon its evolution and pathogenicity. Clostridium difficile is a significant bacterial human pathogen which undergoes continual genome evolution, resulting in the emergence of new virulent strains. Phages are major facilitators of genome evolution in other bacterial species, and we use sequence analysis-based approaches in order to examine whether the CRISPR/Cas system could control these interactions across divergent C. difficile strains. The presence of spacer sequences in prophages that are homologous to phage genomes raises an

  4. Occurrence and Diversity of CRISPR-Cas Systems in the Genus Bifidobacterium

    PubMed Central

    Briner, Alexandra E.; Lugli, Gabriele Andrea; Milani, Christian; Duranti, Sabrina; Turroni, Francesca; Gueimonde, Miguel; Margolles, Abelardo; van Sinderen, Douwe; Ventura, Marco; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas systems constitute adaptive immune systems for antiviral defense in bacteria. We investigated the occurrence and diversity of CRISPR-Cas systems in 48 Bifidobacterium genomes to gain insights into the diversity and co-evolution of CRISPR-Cas systems within the genus and investigate CRISPR spacer content. We identified the elements necessary for the successful targeting and inference of foreign DNA in select Type II CRISPR-Cas systems, including the tracrRNA and target PAM sequence. Bifidobacterium species have a very high frequency of CRISPR-Cas occurrence (77%, 37 of 48). We found that many Bifidobacterium species have unusually large and diverse CRISPR-Cas systems that contain spacer sequences showing homology to foreign genetic elements like prophages. A large number of CRISPR spacers in bifidobacteria show perfect homology to prophage sequences harbored in the chromosomes of other species of Bifidobacterium, including some spacers that self-target the chromosome. A correlation was observed between strains that lacked CRISPR-Cas systems and the number of times prophages in that chromosome were targeted by other CRISPR spacers. The presence of prophage-targeting CRISPR spacers and prophage content may shed light on evolutionary processes and strain divergence. Finally, elements of Type II CRISPR-Cas systems, including the tracrRNA and crRNAs, set the stage for the development of genome editing and genetic engineering tools. PMID:26230606

  5. CRISPR-Cas immunity in prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Marraffini, Luciano A

    2015-10-01

    Prokaryotic organisms are threatened by a large array of viruses and have developed numerous defence strategies. Among these, only clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas systems provide adaptive immunity against foreign elements. Upon viral injection, a small sequence of the viral genome, known as a spacer, is integrated into the CRISPR locus to immunize the host cell. Spacers are transcribed into small RNA guides that direct the cleavage of the viral DNA by Cas nucleases. Immunization through spacer acquisition enables a unique form of evolution whereby a population not only rapidly acquires resistance to its predators but also passes this resistance mechanism vertically to its progeny.

  6. CRISPR families of the crenarchaeal genus Sulfolobus: bidirectional transcription and dynamic properties.

    PubMed

    Lillestøl, Reidun K; Shah, Shiraz A; Brügger, Kim; Redder, Peter; Phan, Hien; Christiansen, Jan; Garrett, Roger A

    2009-04-01

    Clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) of Sulfolobus fall into three main families based on their repeats, leader regions, associated cas genes and putative recognition sequences on viruses and plasmids. Spacer sequence matches to different viruses and plasmids of the Sulfolobales revealed some bias particularly for family III CRISPRs. Transcription occurs on both strands of the five repeat-clusters of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and a repeat-cluster of the conjugative plasmid pKEF9. Leader strand transcripts cover whole repeat-clusters and are processed mainly from the 3'-end, within repeats, yielding heterogeneous 40-45 nt spacer RNAs. Processing of the pKEF9 leader transcript occurred partially in spacers, and was incomplete, probably reflecting defective repeat recognition by host enzymes. A similar level of transcripts was generated from complementary strands of each chromosomal repeat-cluster and they were processed to yield discrete approximately 55 nt spacer RNAs. Analysis of the partially identical repeat-clusters of Sulfolobus solfataricus strains P1 and P2 revealed that spacer-repeat units are added upstream only when a leader and certain cas genes are linked. Downstream ends of the repeat-clusters are conserved such that deletions and recombination events occur internally.

  7. CRISPR Diversity and Microevolution in Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Joakim M; Shoup, Madelyn; Robinson, Cathy; Britton, Robert; Olsen, Katharina E P; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2016-09-19

    Virulent strains of Clostridium difficile have become a global health problem associated with morbidity and mortality. Traditional typing methods do not provide ideal resolution to track outbreak strains, ascertain genetic diversity between isolates, or monitor the phylogeny of this species on a global basis. Here, we investigate the occurrence and diversity of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated genes (cas) in C. difficile to assess the potential of CRISPR-based phylogeny and high-resolution genotyping. A single Type-IB CRISPR-Cas system was identified in 217 analyzed genomes with cas gene clusters present at conserved chromosomal locations, suggesting vertical evolution of the system, assessing a total of 1,865 CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR arrays, markedly enriched (8.5 arrays/genome) compared with other species, occur both at conserved and variable locations across strains, and thus provide a basis for typing based on locus occurrence and spacer polymorphism. Clustering of strains by array composition correlated with sequence type (ST) analysis. Spacer content and polymorphism within conserved CRISPR arrays revealed phylogenetic relationship across clades and within ST. Spacer polymorphisms of conserved arrays were instrumental for differentiating closely related strains, e.g., ST1/RT027/B1 strains and pathogenicity locus encoding ST3/RT001 strains. CRISPR spacers showed sequence similarity to phage sequences, which is consistent with the native role of CRISPR-Cas as adaptive immune systems in bacteria. Overall, CRISPR-Cas sequences constitute a valuable basis for genotyping of C. difficile isolates, provide insights into the micro-evolutionary events that occur between closely related strains, and reflect the evolutionary trajectory of these genomes. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  8. The Contribution of Genetic Recombination to CRISPR Array Evolution.

    PubMed

    Kupczok, Anne; Landan, Giddy; Dagan, Tal

    2015-06-16

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a microbial immune system against foreign DNA. Recognition sequences (spacers) encoded within the CRISPR array mediate the immune reaction in a sequence-specific manner. The known mechanisms for the evolution of CRISPR arrays include spacer acquisition from foreign DNA elements at the time of invasion and array erosion through spacer deletion. Here, we consider the contribution of genetic recombination between homologous CRISPR arrays to the evolution of spacer repertoire. Acquisition of spacers from exogenic arrays via recombination may confer the recipient with immunity against unencountered antagonists. For this purpose, we develop a novel method for the detection of recombination in CRISPR arrays by modeling the spacer order in arrays from multiple strains from the same species. Because the evolutionary signal of spacer recombination may be similar to that of pervasive spacer deletions or independent spacer acquisition, our method entails a robustness analysis of the recombination inference by a statistical comparison to resampled and perturbed data sets. We analyze CRISPR data sets from four bacterial species: two Gammaproteobacteria species harboring CRISPR type I and two Streptococcus species harboring CRISPR type II loci. We find that CRISPR array evolution in Escherichia coli and Streptococcus agalactiae can be explained solely by vertical inheritance and differential spacer deletion. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we find an excess of single spacers potentially incorporated into the CRISPR locus during independent acquisition events. In Streptococcus thermophilus, evidence for spacer acquisition by recombination is present in 5 out of 70 strains. Genetic recombination has been proposed to accelerate adaptation by combining beneficial mutations that arose in independent lineages. However, for most species under study, we find that CRISPR evolution is shaped mainly by spacer acquisition and

  9. CRISPI: a CRISPR interactive database

    PubMed Central

    Rousseau, Christine; Gonnet, Mathieu; Le Romancer, Marc; Nicolas, Jacques

    2009-01-01

    Summary: The CRISPR genomic structures (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) form a family of repeats that is largely present in archaea and frequent in bacteria. On the basis of a formal model of CRISPR using very few parameters, a systematic study of all their occurrences in all available genomes of Archaea and Bacteria has been carried out. This has resulted in a relational database, CRISPI, which also includes a complete repertory of associated CRISPR-associated genes (CAS). A user-friendly web interface with many graphical tools and functions allows users to extract results, find CRISPR in personal sequences or calculate sequence similarity with spacers. Availability: CRISPI free access at http://crispi.genouest.org Contact: croussea@irisa.fr; jnicolas@irisa.fr; PMID:19846435

  10. Genomic impact of CRISPR immunization against bacteriophages.

    PubMed

    Barrangou, Rodolphe; Coûté-Monvoisin, Anne-Claire; Stahl, Buffy; Chavichvily, Isabelle; Damange, Florian; Romero, Dennis A; Boyaval, Patrick; Fremaux, Christophe; Horvath, Philippe

    2013-12-01

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) together with CAS (RISPR-associated) genes form the CRISPR-Cas immune system, which provides sequence-specific adaptive immunity against foreign genetic elements in bacteria and archaea. Immunity is acquired by the integration of short stretches of invasive DNA as novel 'spacers' into CRISPR loci. Subsequently, these immune markers are transcribed and generate small non-coding interfering RNAs that specifically guide nucleases for sequence-specific cleavage of complementary sequences. Among the four CRISPR-Cas systems present in Streptococcus thermophilus, CRISPR1 and CRISPR3 have the ability to readily acquire new spacers following bacteriophage or plasmid exposure. In order to investigate the impact of building CRISPR-encoded immunity on the host chromosome, we determined the genome sequence of a BIM (bacteriophage-insensitive mutant) derived from the DGCC7710 model organism, after four consecutive rounds of bacteriophage challenge. As expected, active CRISPR loci evolved via polarized addition of several novel spacers following exposure to bacteriophages. Although analysis of the draft genome sequence revealed a variety of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and INDELs (insertions/deletions), most of the in silico differences were not validated by Sanger re-sequencing. In addition, two SNPs and two small INDELs were identified and tracked in the intermediate variants. Overall, building CRISPR-encoded immunity does not significantly affect the genome, which allows the maintenance of important functional properties in isogenic CRISPR mutants. This is critical for the development and formulation of sustainable and robust next-generation starter cultures with increased industrial lifespans.

  11. Type III CRISPR complexes from Thermus thermophilus.

    PubMed

    Szychowska, Marta; Siwek, Wojciech; Pawolski, Damian; Kazrani, Asgar Abbas; Pyrc, Krzysztof; Bochtler, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Pathogen-specific acquired immunity in bacteria is mediated by the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas systems. Thermus thermophilus strain HB8 contains CRISPR systems of several major subtypes (type I, IIIA and IIIB), and has become a widely studied model for CRISPR biology. We have selected two highly expressed CRISPR spacers, crRNA 2.1 and crRNA 2.2, and have enriched endogenous T. thermophilus proteins that co-purify with these crRNAs. Mass spectroscopy indicates that the chromatography protocol enriches predominantly Csm complex subunits, but also Cmr subunits. After several chromatographic steps, size exclusion chromatography indicated a molecular mass of the crRNA associated complex of 265±69 kDa. In agreement with earlier work, crRNAs of different lengths (containing the selected spacers) were observed. Most of these were completely lost when several T. thermophilus csm genes were ablated.

  12. Polymorphism of CRISPR shows separated natural groupings of Shigella subtypes and evidence of horizontal transfer of CRISPR.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chaojie; Li, Peng; Su, Wenli; Li, Hao; Liu, Hongbo; Yang, Guang; Xie, Jing; Yi, Shengjie; Wang, Jian; Cui, Xianyan; Wu, Zhihao; Wang, Ligui; Hao, Rongzhang; Jia, Leili; Qiu, Shaofu; Song, Hongbin

    2015-01-01

    Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) act as an adaptive RNA-mediated immune mechanism in bacteria. They can also be used for identification and evolutionary studies based on polymorphisms within the CRISPR locus. We amplified and analyzed 6 CRISPR loci from 237 Shigella strains belonging to the 4 species groups, as well as 13 Escherichia coli strains. The CRISPR-associated (cas) gene sequence arrays of these strains were screened and compared. The CRISPR sequences from Shigella were conserved among subtypes, suggesting that CRISPR may represent a new identification tool for the detection and discrimination of Shigella species. Secondary structure analysis showed a different stem-loop structure at the terminal repeat, suggesting a distinct recognition mechanism in the formation of crRNA. In addition, the presence of "self-target" spacers and polymorphisms within CRISPR in Shigella indicated a selective pressure for inhibition of this system, which has the potential to damage "self DNA." Homology analysis of spacers showed that CRISPR might be involved in the regulation of virulence transmission. Phylogenetic analysis based on CRISPR sequences from Shigella and E. coli indicated that although phenotypic properties maintain convergent evolution, the 4 Shigella species do not represent natural groupings. Surprisingly, comparative analysis of Shigella repeats with other species provided new evidence for CRISPR horizontal transfer. Our results suggested that CRISPR analysis is applicable for the detection of Shigella species and for investigation of evolutionary relationships.

  13. Polymorphism of CRISPR shows separated natural groupings of Shigella subtypes and evidence of horizontal transfer of CRISPR

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chaojie; Li, Peng; Su, Wenli; Li, Hao; Liu, Hongbo; Yang, Guang; Xie, Jing; Yi, Shengjie; Wang, Jian; Cui, Xianyan; Wu, Zhihao; Wang, Ligui; Hao, Rongzhang; Jia, Leili; Qiu, Shaofu; Song, Hongbin

    2015-01-01

    Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) act as an adaptive RNA-mediated immune mechanism in bacteria. They can also be used for identification and evolutionary studies based on polymorphisms within the CRISPR locus. We amplified and analyzed 6 CRISPR loci from 237 Shigella strains belonging to the 4 species groups, as well as 13 Escherichia coli strains. The CRISPR-associated (cas) gene sequence arrays of these strains were screened and compared. The CRISPR sequences from Shigella were conserved among subtypes, suggesting that CRISPR may represent a new identification tool for the detection and discrimination of Shigella species. Secondary structure analysis showed a different stem-loop structure at the terminal repeat, suggesting a distinct recognition mechanism in the formation of crRNA. In addition, the presence of “self-target” spacers and polymorphisms within CRISPR in Shigella indicated a selective pressure for inhibition of this system, which has the potential to damage “self DNA.” Homology analysis of spacers showed that CRISPR might be involved in the regulation of virulence transmission. Phylogenetic analysis based on CRISPR sequences from Shigella and E. coli indicated that although phenotypic properties maintain convergent evolution, the 4 Shigella species do not represent natural groupings. Surprisingly, comparative analysis of Shigella repeats with other species provided new evidence for CRISPR horizontal transfer. Our results suggested that CRISPR analysis is applicable for the detection of Shigella species and for investigation of evolutionary relationships. PMID:26327282

  14. Comparative Analysis of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) of Streptococcus thermophilus St-I and its Bacteriophage-Insensitive Mutants (BIM) Derivatives.

    PubMed

    Li, Wan; Bian, Xin; Evivie, Smith Etareri; Huo, Gui-Cheng

    2016-09-01

    The CRISPR-Cas (CRISPR together with CRISPR-associated proteins) modules are the adaptive immune system, acting as an adaptive and heritable immune system in bacteria and archaea. CRISPR-based immunity acts by integrating short virus sequences in the cell's CRISPR locus, allowing the cell to remember, recognize, and clear infections. In this study, the homology of CRISPRs sequence in BIMs (bacteriophage-insensitive mutants) of Streptococcus thermophilus St-I were analyzed. Secondary structures of the repeats and the PAMs (protospacer-associated motif) of each CRISPR locus were also predicted. Results showed that CRISPR1 has 27 repeat-spacer units, 5 of them had duplicates; CRISPR2 has one repeat-spacer unit; CRISPR3 has 28 repeat-spacer units. Only BIM1 had a new spacer acquisition in CRISPR3, while BIM2 and BIM3 had no new spacers' insertion, thus indicating that while most CRISPR1 were more active than CRISPR3, new spacer acquisition occurred just in CRSPR3 in some situations. These findings will help establish the foundation for the study of CRSPR-Cas systems in lactic acid bacteria.

  15. Requirements for Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type I-F CRISPR-Cas Adaptation Determined Using a Biofilm Enrichment Assay.

    PubMed

    Heussler, Gary E; Miller, Jon L; Price, Courtney E; Collins, Alan J; O'Toole, George A

    2016-11-15

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)-Cas (CRISPR-associated protein) systems are diverse and found in many archaea and bacteria. These systems have mainly been characterized as adaptive immune systems able to protect against invading mobile genetic elements, including viruses. The first step in this protection is acquisition of spacer sequences from the invader DNA and incorporation of those sequences into the CRISPR array, termed CRISPR adaptation. Progress in understanding the mechanisms and requirements of CRISPR adaptation has largely been accomplished using overexpression of cas genes or plasmid loss assays; little work has focused on endogenous CRISPR-acquired immunity from viral predation. Here, we developed a new biofilm-based assay system to enrich for Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains with new spacer acquisition. We used this assay to demonstrate that P. aeruginosa rapidly acquires spacers protective against DMS3vir, an engineered lytic variant of the Mu-like bacteriophage DMS3, through primed CRISPR adaptation from spacers present in the native CRISPR2 array. We found that for the P. aeruginosa type I-F system, the cas1 gene is required for CRISPR adaptation, recG contributes to (but is not required for) primed CRISPR adaptation, recD is dispensable for primed CRISPR adaptation, and finally, the ability of a putative priming spacer to prime can vary considerably depending on the specific sequences of the spacer.

  16. Characterization of CRISPR RNA transcription by exploiting stranded metatranscriptomic data.

    PubMed

    Ye, Yuzhen; Zhang, Quan

    2016-07-01

    CRISPR-Cas systems are bacterial adaptive immune systems, each typically composed of a locus of cas genes and a CRISPR array of spacers flanked by repeats. Processed transcripts of CRISPR arrays (crRNAs) play important roles in the interference process mediated by these systems, guiding targeted immunity. Here we developed computational approaches that allow us to characterize the expression of many CRISPRs in their natural environments, using community RNA-seq (metatranscriptomic) data. By exploiting public human gut metatranscriptomic data sets, we studied the expression of 56 repeat-sequence types of CRISPRs, revealing that most CRISPRs are transcribed in one direction (producing crRNAs). In rarer cases, including a type II system associated with Bacteroides fragilis, CRISPRs are transcribed in both directions. Type III CRISPR-Cas systems were found in the microbiomes, but metatranscriptomic reads were barely found for their CRISPRs. We observed individual-level variation of the crRNA transcription, and an even greater transcription of a CRISPR from the antisense strand than the crRNA strand in one sample. The orientations of CRISPR expression implicated by metatranscriptomic data are largely in agreement with prior predictions for CRISPRs, with exceptions. Our study shows the promise of exploiting community RNA-seq data for investigating the transcription of CRISPR-Cas systems. © 2016 Ye and Zhang; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  17. Evolution and classification of the CRISPR-Cas systems.

    PubMed

    Makarova, Kira S; Haft, Daniel H; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Brouns, Stan J J; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Horvath, Philippe; Moineau, Sylvain; Mojica, Francisco J M; Wolf, Yuri I; Yakunin, Alexander F; van der Oost, John; Koonin, Eugene V

    2011-06-01

    The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated proteins) modules are adaptive immunity systems that are present in many archaea and bacteria. These defence systems are encoded by operons that have an extraordinarily diverse architecture and a high rate of evolution for both the cas genes and the unique spacer content. Here, we provide an updated analysis of the evolutionary relationships between CRISPR-Cas systems and Cas proteins. Three major types of CRISPR-Cas system are delineated, with a further division into several subtypes and a few chimeric variants. Given the complexity of the genomic architectures and the extremely dynamic evolution of the CRISPR-Cas systems, a unified classification of these systems should be based on multiple criteria. Accordingly, we propose a 'polythetic' classification that integrates the phylogenies of the most common cas genes, the sequence and organization of the CRISPR repeats and the architecture of the CRISPR-cas loci.

  18. CRISPR inhibition of prophage acquisition in Streptococcus pyogenes.

    PubMed

    Nozawa, Takashi; Furukawa, Nayuta; Aikawa, Chihiro; Watanabe, Takayasu; Haobam, Bijaya; Kurokawa, Ken; Maruyama, Fumito; Nakagawa, Ichiro

    2011-05-06

    Streptococcus pyogenes, one of the major human pathogens, is a unique species since it has acquired diverse strain-specific virulence properties mainly through the acquisition of streptococcal prophages. In addition, S. pyogenes possesses clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas systems that can restrict horizontal gene transfer (HGT) including phage insertion. Therefore, it was of interest to examine the relationship between CRISPR and acquisition of prophages in S. pyogenes. Although two distinct CRISPR loci were found in S. pyogenes, some strains lacked CRISPR and these strains possess significantly more prophages than CRISPR harboring strains. We also found that the number of spacers of S. pyogenes CRISPR was less than for other streptococci. The demonstrated spacer contents, however, suggested that the CRISPR appear to limit phage insertions. In addition, we found a significant inverse correlation between the number of spacers and prophages in S. pyogenes. It was therefore suggested that S. pyogenes CRISPR have permitted phage insertion by lacking its own spacers. Interestingly, in two closely related S. pyogenes strains (SSI-1 and MGAS315), CRISPR activity appeared to be impaired following the insertion of phage genomes into the repeat sequences. Detailed analysis of this prophage insertion site suggested that MGAS315 is the ancestral strain of SSI-1. As a result of analysis of 35 additional streptococcal genomes, it was suggested that the influences of the CRISPR on the phage insertion vary among species even within the same genus. Our results suggested that limitations in CRISPR content could explain the characteristic acquisition of prophages and might contribute to strain-specific pathogenesis in S. pyogenes.

  19. CRISPR Inhibition of Prophage Acquisition in Streptococcus pyogenes

    PubMed Central

    Aikawa, Chihiro; Watanabe, Takayasu; Haobam, Bijaya; Kurokawa, Ken; Maruyama, Fumito; Nakagawa, Ichiro

    2011-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes, one of the major human pathogens, is a unique species since it has acquired diverse strain-specific virulence properties mainly through the acquisition of streptococcal prophages. In addition, S. pyogenes possesses clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas systems that can restrict horizontal gene transfer (HGT) including phage insertion. Therefore, it was of interest to examine the relationship between CRISPR and acquisition of prophages in S. pyogenes. Although two distinct CRISPR loci were found in S. pyogenes, some strains lacked CRISPR and these strains possess significantly more prophages than CRISPR harboring strains. We also found that the number of spacers of S. pyogenes CRISPR was less than for other streptococci. The demonstrated spacer contents, however, suggested that the CRISPR appear to limit phage insertions. In addition, we found a significant inverse correlation between the number of spacers and prophages in S. pyogenes. It was therefore suggested that S. pyogenes CRISPR have permitted phage insertion by lacking its own spacers. Interestingly, in two closely related S. pyogenes strains (SSI-1 and MGAS315), CRISPR activity appeared to be impaired following the insertion of phage genomes into the repeat sequences. Detailed analysis of this prophage insertion site suggested that MGAS315 is the ancestral strain of SSI-1. As a result of analysis of 35 additional streptococcal genomes, it was suggested that the influences of the CRISPR on the phage insertion vary among species even within the same genus. Our results suggested that limitations in CRISPR content could explain the characteristic acquisition of prophages and might contribute to strain-specific pathogenesis in S. pyogenes. PMID:21573110

  20. CRISPR-Cas systems exploit viral DNA injection to establish and maintain adaptive immunity.

    PubMed

    Modell, Joshua W; Jiang, Wenyan; Marraffini, Luciano A

    2017-04-06

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas systems provide protection against viral and plasmid infection by capturing short DNA sequences from these invaders and integrating them into the CRISPR locus of the prokaryotic host. These sequences, known as spacers, are transcribed into short CRISPR RNA guides that specify the cleavage site of Cas nucleases in the genome of the invader. It is not known when spacer sequences are acquired during viral infection. Here, to investigate this, we tracked spacer acquisition in Staphylococcus aureus cells harbouring a type II CRISPR-Cas9 system after infection with the staphylococcal bacteriophage ϕ12. We found that new spacers were acquired immediately after infection preferentially from the cos site, the viral free DNA end that is first injected into the cell. Analysis of spacer acquisition after infection with mutant phages demonstrated that most spacers are acquired during DNA injection, but not during other stages of the viral cycle that produce free DNA ends, such as DNA replication or packaging. Finally, we showed that spacers acquired from early-injected genomic regions, which direct Cas9 cleavage of the viral DNA immediately after infection, provide better immunity than spacers acquired from late-injected regions. Our results reveal that CRISPR-Cas systems exploit the phage life cycle to generate a pattern of spacer acquisition that ensures a successful CRISPR immune response.

  1. Diversity of CRISPR-Cas-Mediated Mechanisms of Adaptive Immunity in Prokaryotes and Their Application in Biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Savitskaya, E E; Musharova, O S; Severinov, K V

    2016-07-01

    CRISPR-Cas systems of adaptive immunity in prokaryotes consist of CRISPR arrays (clusters of short repeated genomic DNA fragments separated by unique spacer sequences) and cas (CRISPR-associated) genes that provide cells with resistance against bacteriophages and plasmids containing protospacers, i.e. sequences complementary to CRISPR array spacers. CRISPR-Cas systems are responsible for two different cellular phenomena: CRISPR adaptation and CRISPR interference. CRISPR adaptation is cell genome modification by integration of new spacers that represents a unique case of Lamarckian inheritance. CRISPR interference involves specific recognition of protospacers in foreign DNA followed by introduction of breaks into this DNA and its destruction. According to the mechanisms of action, CRISPR-Cas systems have been subdivided into two classes, five types, and numerous subtypes. The development of techniques based on CRISPR interference mediated by the Type II system Cas9 protein has revolutionized the field of genome editing because it allows selective, efficient, and relatively simple introduction of directed breaks into target DNA loci. However, practical applications of CRISPR-Cas systems are not limited only to genome editing. In this review, we focus on the variety of CRISPR interference and CRISPR adaptation mechanisms and their prospective use in biotechnology.

  2. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs): the hallmark of an ingenious antiviral defense mechanism in prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Al-Attar, Sinan; Westra, Edze R; van der Oost, John; Brouns, Stan J J

    2011-04-01

    Many prokaryotes contain the recently discovered defense system against mobile genetic elements. This defense system contains a unique type of repetitive DNA stretches, termed Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs). CRISPRs consist of identical repeated DNA sequences (repeats), interspaced by highly variable sequences referred to as spacers. The spacers originate from either phages or plasmids and comprise the prokaryotes' 'immunological memory'. CRISPR-associated (cas) genes encode conserved proteins that together with CRISPRs make-up the CRISPR/Cas system, responsible for defending the prokaryotic cell against invaders. CRISPR-mediated resistance has been proposed to involve three stages: (i) CRISPR-Adaptation, the invader DNA is encountered by the CRISPR/Cas machinery and an invader-derived short DNA fragment is incorporated in the CRISPR array. (ii) CRISPR-Expression, the CRISPR array is transcribed and the transcript is processed by Cas proteins. (iii) CRISPR-Interference, the invaders' nucleic acid is recognized by complementarity to the crRNA and neutralized. An application of the CRISPR/Cas system is the immunization of industry-relevant prokaryotes (or eukaryotes) against mobile-genetic invasion. In addition, the high variability of the CRISPR spacer content can be exploited for phylogenetic and evolutionary studies. Despite impressive progress during the last couple of years, the elucidation of several fundamental details will be a major challenge in future research.

  3. Impact of AlN Spacer on Analog Performance of Lattice-Matched AlInN/AlN/GaN MOSHEMT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jena, Kanjalochan; Swain, Raghunandan; Lenka, T. R.

    2016-04-01

    In this work, a detailed investigation of the impact of spacer layer thickness on analog performance of an AlInN/AlN/GaN metal oxide semiconductor high electron mobility transistor (MOSHEMT) is carried out. A thorough analysis of the key figure-of-merits such as threshold voltage (V th), two-dimensional electron gas sheet charge density (n s), drain current (I d), transconductance (g m), and gate leakage current are performed for various spacer thicknesses ranging from 0.5 nm to 1.8 nm. From the two-dimensional ATLAS device simulation results, it is observed that the performance of AlInN/AlN/GaN MOSHEMT is affected by the variation of spacer thickness. Also, we have developed mathematical expressions for the evaluation of V th , n s , I d , g m and gate leakage current for the proposed device. The model results and technology computer-aided design simulation results are verified and also found to be satisfactory. Improved sheet charge density and superior analog performance is observed due to the insertion of the AlN spacer. Suppression in the forward gate current is observed due to the insertion of the AlN spacer which made it possible to apply a high gate voltage in the transistor operation. From the fabrication point of view, it is also feasible to utilize the existing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor process flows to fabricate the proposed device.

  4. CRISPR adaptation biases explain preference for acquisition of foreign DNA.

    PubMed

    Levy, Asaf; Goren, Moran G; Yosef, Ido; Auster, Oren; Manor, Miriam; Amitai, Gil; Edgar, Rotem; Qimron, Udi; Sorek, Rotem

    2015-04-23

    CRISPR-Cas (clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats coupled with CRISPR-associated proteins) is a bacterial immunity system that protects against invading phages or plasmids. In the process of CRISPR adaptation, short pieces of DNA ('spacers') are acquired from foreign elements and integrated into the CRISPR array. So far, it has remained a mystery how spacers are preferentially acquired from the foreign DNA while the self chromosome is avoided. Here we show that spacer acquisition is replication-dependent, and that DNA breaks formed at stalled replication forks promote spacer acquisition. Chromosomal hotspots of spacer acquisition were confined by Chi sites, which are sequence octamers highly enriched on the bacterial chromosome, suggesting that these sites limit spacer acquisition from self DNA. We further show that the avoidance of self is mediated by the RecBCD double-stranded DNA break repair complex. Our results suggest that, in Escherichia coli, acquisition of new spacers largely depends on RecBCD-mediated processing of double-stranded DNA breaks occurring primarily at replication forks, and that the preference for foreign DNA is achieved through the higher density of Chi sites on the self chromosome, in combination with the higher number of forks on the foreign DNA. This model explains the strong preference to acquire spacers both from high copy plasmids and from phages.

  5. Target motifs affecting natural immunity by a constitutive CRISPR-Cas system in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Almendros, Cristóbal; Guzmán, Noemí M; Díez-Villaseñor, César; García-Martínez, Jesús; Mojica, Francisco J M

    2012-01-01

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR associated (cas) genes conform the CRISPR-Cas systems of various bacteria and archaea and produce degradation of invading nucleic acids containing sequences (protospacers) that are complementary to repeat intervening spacers. It has been demonstrated that the base sequence identity of a protospacer with the cognate spacer and the presence of a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) influence CRISPR-mediated interference efficiency. By using an original transformation assay with plasmids targeted by a resident spacer here we show that natural CRISPR-mediated immunity against invading DNA occurs in wild type Escherichia coli. Unexpectedly, the strongest activity is observed with protospacer adjoining nucleotides (interference motifs) that differ from the PAM both in sequence and location. Hence, our results document for the first time native CRISPR activity in E. coli and demonstrate that positions next to the PAM in invading DNA influence their recognition and degradation by these prokaryotic immune systems.

  6. CRISPR Primer Designer: Design primers for knockout and chromosome imaging CRISPR-Cas system.

    PubMed

    Yan, Meng; Zhou, Shi-Rong; Xue, Hong-Wei

    2015-07-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated system enables biologists to edit genomes precisely and provides a powerful tool for perturbing endogenous gene regulation, modulation of epigenetic markers, and genome architecture. However, there are concerns about the specificity of the system, especially the usages of knocking out a gene. Previous designing tools either were mostly built-in websites or ran as command-line programs, and none of them ran locally and acquired a user-friendly interface. In addition, with the development of CRISPR-derived systems, such as chromosome imaging, there were still no tools helping users to generate specific end-user spacers. We herein present CRISPR Primer Designer for researchers to design primers for CRISPR applications. The program has a user-friendly interface, can analyze the BLAST results by using multiple parameters, score for each candidate spacer, and generate the primers when using a certain plasmid. In addition, CRISPR Primer Designer runs locally and can be used to search spacer clusters, and exports primers for the CRISPR-Cas system-based chromosome imaging system.

  7. Adaptation in CRISPR-Cas Systems.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, Samuel H; Richter, Hagen; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Qimron, Udi

    2016-03-17

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins constitute an adaptive immune system in prokaryotes. The system preserves memories of prior infections by integrating short segments of foreign DNA, termed spacers, into the CRISPR array in a process termed adaptation. During the past 3 years, significant progress has been made on the genetic requirements and molecular mechanisms of adaptation. Here we review these recent advances, with a focus on the experimental approaches that have been developed, the insights they generated, and a proposed mechanism for self- versus non-self-discrimination during the process of spacer selection. We further describe the regulation of adaptation and the protein players involved in this fascinating process that allows bacteria and archaea to harbor adaptive immunity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Crass: identification and reconstruction of CRISPR from unassembled metagenomic data.

    PubMed

    Skennerton, Connor T; Imelfort, Michael; Tyson, Gene W

    2013-05-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) constitute a bacterial and archaeal adaptive immune system that protect against bacteriophage (phage). Analysis of CRISPR loci reveals the history of phage infections and provides a direct link between phage and their hosts. All current tools for CRISPR identification have been developed to analyse completed genomes and are not well suited to the analysis of metagenomic data sets, where CRISPR loci are difficult to assemble owing to their repetitive structure and population heterogeneity. Here, we introduce a new algorithm, Crass, which is designed to identify and reconstruct CRISPR loci from raw metagenomic data without the need for assembly or prior knowledge of CRISPR in the data set. CRISPR in assembled data are often fragmented across many contigs/scaffolds and do not fully represent the population heterogeneity of CRISPR loci. Crass identified substantially more CRISPR in metagenomes previously analysed using assembly-based approaches. Using Crass, we were able to detect CRISPR that contained spacers with sequence homology to phage in the system, which would not have been identified using other approaches. The increased sensitivity, specificity and speed of Crass will facilitate comprehensive analysis of CRISPRs in metagenomic data sets, increasing our understanding of phage-host interactions and co-evolution within microbial communities.

  9. Crass: identification and reconstruction of CRISPR from unassembled metagenomic data

    PubMed Central

    Skennerton, Connor T.; Imelfort, Michael; Tyson, Gene W.

    2013-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) constitute a bacterial and archaeal adaptive immune system that protect against bacteriophage (phage). Analysis of CRISPR loci reveals the history of phage infections and provides a direct link between phage and their hosts. All current tools for CRISPR identification have been developed to analyse completed genomes and are not well suited to the analysis of metagenomic data sets, where CRISPR loci are difficult to assemble owing to their repetitive structure and population heterogeneity. Here, we introduce a new algorithm, Crass, which is designed to identify and reconstruct CRISPR loci from raw metagenomic data without the need for assembly or prior knowledge of CRISPR in the data set. CRISPR in assembled data are often fragmented across many contigs/scaffolds and do not fully represent the population heterogeneity of CRISPR loci. Crass identified substantially more CRISPR in metagenomes previously analysed using assembly-based approaches. Using Crass, we were able to detect CRISPR that contained spacers with sequence homology to phage in the system, which would not have been identified using other approaches. The increased sensitivity, specificity and speed of Crass will facilitate comprehensive analysis of CRISPRs in metagenomic data sets, increasing our understanding of phage-host interactions and co-evolution within microbial communities. PMID:23511966

  10. Discovery of Escherichia coli CRISPR sequences in an undergraduate laboratory.

    PubMed

    Militello, Kevin T; Lazatin, Justine C

    2017-05-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) represent a novel type of adaptive immune system found in eubacteria and archaebacteria. CRISPRs have recently generated a lot of attention due to their unique ability to catalog foreign nucleic acids, their ability to destroy foreign nucleic acids in a mechanism that shares some similarity to RNA interference, and the ability to utilize reconstituted CRISPR systems for genome editing in numerous organisms. In order to introduce CRISPR biology into an undergraduate upper-level laboratory, a five-week set of exercises was designed to allow students to examine the CRISPR status of uncharacterized Escherichia coli strains and to allow the discovery of new repeats and spacers. Students started the project by isolating genomic DNA from E. coli and amplifying the iap CRISPR locus using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The PCR products were analyzed by Sanger DNA sequencing, and the sequences were examined for the presence of CRISPR repeat sequences. The regions between the repeats, the spacers, were extracted and analyzed with BLASTN searches. Overall, CRISPR loci were sequenced from several previously uncharacterized E. coli strains and one E. coli K-12 strain. Sanger DNA sequencing resulted in the discovery of 36 spacer sequences and their corresponding surrounding repeat sequences. Five of the spacers were homologous to foreign (non-E. coli) DNA. Assessment of the laboratory indicates that improvements were made in the ability of students to answer questions relating to the structure and function of CRISPRs. Future directions of the laboratory are presented and discussed. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(3):262-269, 2017. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  11. CRISPR-Cas: biology, mechanisms and relevance

    PubMed Central

    Hille, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Prokaryotes have evolved several defence mechanisms to protect themselves from viral predators. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated proteins (Cas) display a prokaryotic adaptive immune system that memorizes previous infections by integrating short sequences of invading genomes—termed spacers—into the CRISPR locus. The spacers interspaced with repeats are expressed as small guide CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) that are employed by Cas proteins to target invaders sequence-specifically upon a reoccurring infection. The ability of the minimal CRISPR-Cas9 system to target DNA sequences using programmable RNAs has opened new avenues in genome editing in a broad range of cells and organisms with high potential in therapeutical applications. While numerous scientific studies have shed light on the biochemical processes behind CRISPR-Cas systems, several aspects of the immunity steps, however, still lack sufficient understanding. This review summarizes major discoveries in the CRISPR-Cas field, discusses the role of CRISPR-Cas in prokaryotic immunity and other physiological properties, and describes applications of the system as a DNA editing technology and antimicrobial agent. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The new bacteriology’. PMID:27672148

  12. Characterization of CRISPR-Cas system in clinical Staphylococcus epidermidis strains revealed its potential association with bacterial infection sites.

    PubMed

    Li, Qiuchun; Xie, Xiaolei; Yin, Kequan; Tang, Yueyuan; Zhou, Xiaohui; Chen, Yun; Xia, Jie; Hu, Yachen; Ingmer, Hanne; Li, Yang; Jiao, Xinan

    2016-12-01

    Staphylococcus epidermidis is considered as a major cause of nosocomial infections, bringing an immense burden to healthcare systems. Virulent phages have been confirmed to be efficient in combating the pathogen, but the prensence of CRISPR-Cas system, which is a bacterial immune system eliminating phages was reported in few S. epidermidis strains. In this study, the CRISPR-Cas system was detected in 12 from almost 300 published genomes in GenBank and by PCR of cas6 gene in 18 strains out of 130 clinical isolates obtained in Copenhagen. Four strains isolated in 1965-1966 harboured CRISPR elements confirming that this immunity system was not recently acquired by S. epidermidis. In these CRISPR-positive strains, 44 and 12 spacers were found to belong to CRISPR1 and CRISPR2 elements, respectively. However, only 15 spacers displayed homology to reported phages and plasmids DNA. Interestingly, 5 different spacers located in the CRISPR1 locus with homolgy to virulent phage 6ec DNA sequences, and 19 strains each carrying 2 or 3 different spacers recognizing this phage, implied that the CRISPR-Cas immunity could be abrogated by nucleotide mismatch between the spacer and its target phage sequence, while new spacers obtained from the evolved phage could recover the CRISPR interference. In addition, phylogenetic analysis of the 29 CRISPR-positive isolates divided them into four lineages, with 81% human blood isolates as a distinct sub-lineage, suggesting that the CRISPR difference is closely related to diverse habitats. Knowledge of CRISPR and its prevalence may ultimately be applied in the understanding of origin and evolution of CRISPR-positive S. epidermidis strains.

  13. Cas6 specificity and CRISPR RNA loading in a complex CRISPR-Cas system.

    PubMed

    Sokolowski, Richard D; Graham, Shirley; White, Malcolm F

    2014-06-01

    CRISPR-Cas is an adaptive prokaryotic immune system, providing protection against viruses and other mobile genetic elements. In type I and type III CRISPR-Cas systems, CRISPR RNA (crRNA) is generated by cleavage of a primary transcript by the Cas6 endonuclease and loaded into multisubunit surveillance/effector complexes, allowing homology-directed detection and cleavage of invading elements. Highly studied CRISPR-Cas systems such as those in Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have a single Cas6 enzyme that is an integral subunit of the surveillance complex. By contrast, Sulfolobus solfataricus has a complex CRISPR-Cas system with three types of surveillance complexes (Cascade/type I-A, CSM/type III-A and CMR/type III-B), five Cas6 paralogues and two different CRISPR-repeat families (AB and CD). Here, we investigate the kinetic properties of two different Cas6 paralogues from S. solfataricus. The Cas6-1 subtype is specific for CD-family CRISPR repeats, generating crRNA by multiple turnover catalysis whilst Cas6-3 has a broader specificity and also processes a non-coding RNA with a CRISPR repeat-related sequence. Deep sequencing of crRNA in surveillance complexes reveals a biased distribution of spacers derived from AB and CD loci, suggesting functional coupling between Cas6 paralogues and their downstream effector complexes.

  14. Characterization of CRISPR RNA transcription by exploiting stranded metatranscriptomic data

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Yuzhen; Zhang, Quan

    2016-01-01

    CRISPR–Cas systems are bacterial adaptive immune systems, each typically composed of a locus of cas genes and a CRISPR array of spacers flanked by repeats. Processed transcripts of CRISPR arrays (crRNAs) play important roles in the interference process mediated by these systems, guiding targeted immunity. Here we developed computational approaches that allow us to characterize the expression of many CRISPRs in their natural environments, using community RNA-seq (metatranscriptomic) data. By exploiting public human gut metatranscriptomic data sets, we studied the expression of 56 repeat-sequence types of CRISPRs, revealing that most CRISPRs are transcribed in one direction (producing crRNAs). In rarer cases, including a type II system associated with Bacteroides fragilis, CRISPRs are transcribed in both directions. Type III CRISPR–Cas systems were found in the microbiomes, but metatranscriptomic reads were barely found for their CRISPRs. We observed individual-level variation of the crRNA transcription, and an even greater transcription of a CRISPR from the antisense strand than the crRNA strand in one sample. The orientations of CRISPR expression implicated by metatranscriptomic data are largely in agreement with prior predictions for CRISPRs, with exceptions. Our study shows the promise of exploiting community RNA-seq data for investigating the transcription of CRISPR–Cas systems. PMID:27190232

  15. CRISPR-cas loci profiling of Cronobacter sakazakii pathovars.

    PubMed

    Ogrodzki, Pauline; Forsythe, Stephen James

    2016-12-01

     Cronobacter sakazakii sequence types 1, 4, 8 and 12 are associated with outbreaks of neonatal meningitis and necrotizing enterocolitis infections. However clonality results in strains which are indistinguishable using conventional methods. This study investigated the use of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-cas loci profiling for epidemiological investigations. Seventy whole genomes of C. sakazakii strains from four clonal complexes which were widely distributed temporally, geographically and origin of source were profiled. All strains encoded the same type I-E subtype CRISPR-cas system with a total of 12 different CRISPR spacer arrays. This study demonstrated the greater discriminatory power of CRISPR spacer array profiling compared with multilocus sequence typing, which will be of use in source attribution during Cronobacter outbreak investigations.

  16. Assembling the Streptococcus thermophilus clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) array for multiplex DNA targeting.

    PubMed

    Guo, Lijun; Xu, Kun; Liu, Zhiyuan; Zhang, Cunfang; Xin, Ying; Zhang, Zhiying

    2015-06-01

    In addition to the advantages of scalable, affordable, and easy to engineer, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) technology is superior for multiplex targeting, which is laborious and inconvenient when achieved by cloning multiple gRNA expressing cassettes. Here, we report a simple CRISPR array assembling method which will facilitate multiplex targeting usage. First, the Streptococcus thermophilus CRISPR3/Cas locus was cloned. Second, different CRISPR arrays were assembled with different crRNA spacers. Transformation assays using different Escherichia coli strains demonstrated efficient plasmid DNA targeting, and we achieved targeting efficiency up to 95% with an assembled CRISPR array with three crRNA spacers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Analysis of the features of 45 identified CRISPR loci in 32 Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Yang, Siyu; Liu, Jing; Shao, Fuye; Wang, Pengfei; Duan, Guangcai; Yang, Haiyan

    2015-08-28

    Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a common pathogen that can cause serious infections, even death. Because of the horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of antibiotic resistance genes, the drug resistant condition is becoming increasingly prevalent. Recently, an adaptive immunity system, named clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), was discovered and demonstrated to confer a defense against foreign invading elements that may carry the antibiotic resistance genes. In this study, we reveal the features of 45 identified CRISPR loci and the CRISPR associated gene (Cas) in 32 S. aureus strains from CRISPR database. Five spacers of S. aureus 08BA02176 and MSHR1132 were homologous with foreign genetic sequences from phages or plasmids, even containing a spacer sequence identical to part of some phages' genomes containing lukPV gene that encodes the PVL toxin. Many S. aureus strains with the same CRISPR type shared the same MLST type. CRISPR loci that had 3 or more similar protein loci mostly belonged to the same CRISPR type. We came to the conclusion that the CRISPR/Cas of strains 08BA02176 and MSHR1132 were inherited from a common ancestor or recombined from Staphylococcus lugdunensis. CRISPR loci can be mobilized and can transfer among different but closely related species, and the same types of MLST strains exhibit a higher affinity to the same types of CRISPR loci. Bacteriophages may be the predominant challenge facing S. aureus. The CRISPR/Cas structure may limit the transmission of bacterial virulence among S. aureus.

  18. CRISPR Critters and CRISPR Cracks.

    PubMed

    Charo, R Alta; Greely, Henry T

    2015-01-01

    This essay focuses on possible nonhuman applications of CRISPR/Cas9 that are likely to be widely overlooked because they are unexpected and, in some cases, perhaps even "frivolous." We look at five uses for "CRISPR Critters": wild de-extinction, domestic de-extinction, personal whim, art, and novel forms of disease prevention. We then discuss the current regulatory framework and its possible limitations in those contexts. We end with questions about some deeper issues raised by the increased human control over life on earth offered by genome editing.

  19. [Association between phage-mediated shiga toxin and molecular distribution of CRISPR in Escherichia coli O26 ∶ H11 or NM].

    PubMed

    Long, J Z; Xu, Y K; Duan, G C; Liang, W J; Liu, H Y; Chen, S Y; Xi, Y L; Wang, P F; Wang, Y F

    2017-07-10

    Objective: To investigate the association between phage-mediated shiga toxin and molecular distribution of CRISPR in Escherichia (E.) coli O26∶H11 or NM. Methods: A total of 135 E. coli O26 ∶ H11 or NM strains were collected from NCBI database. Software CRT and CRISPR Finder were used to extract CRISPR and Excel was used to assign the spacer of unique number and type CRISPR. And the relationship between CRISPR and stx phage was analyzed. Results: All the 135 E. coli O26 ∶ H11 or NM strains had the CRISPR. For CRISPR1, CRISPR2.1, CRISPR2.2 and CRISPR3-4, 19, 22, 1 and 1 subtypes were found, respectively. According to the four CRISPR sites, the strains could be divided into 40 subtypes. Stx-phage was only observed in the group C of CRISPR. Compared with E. coli of stx-phage negative, E. coli with stx-phage harbored more spacers. Conclusions: CRISPR loci was extensively existed in E. coli O26∶H11 or NM, and many subtypes were found in these strains. The presence of stx-phage was related to the molecular distribution of CRISPR in E. coli O26∶H11 or NM. CRISPR might be a valuable biomarker to identify strains with high virulent potential.

  20. CRISPRDetect: A flexible algorithm to define CRISPR arrays.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Ambarish; Staals, Raymond H J; Morales, Sergio E; Fineran, Peter C; Brown, Chris M

    2016-05-17

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) RNAs provide the specificity for noncoding RNA-guided adaptive immune defence systems in prokaryotes. CRISPR arrays consist of repeat sequences separated by specific spacer sequences. CRISPR arrays have previously been identified in a large proportion of prokaryotic genomes. However, currently available detection algorithms do not utilise recently discovered features regarding CRISPR loci. We have developed a new approach to automatically detect, predict and interactively refine CRISPR arrays. It is available as a web program and command line from bioanalysis.otago.ac.nz/CRISPRDetect. CRISPRDetect discovers putative arrays, extends the array by detecting additional variant repeats, corrects the direction of arrays, refines the repeat/spacer boundaries, and annotates different types of sequence variations (e.g. insertion/deletion) in near identical repeats. Due to these features, CRISPRDetect has significant advantages when compared to existing identification tools. As well as further support for small medium and large repeats, CRISPRDetect identified a class of arrays with 'extra-large' repeats in bacteria (repeats 44-50 nt). The CRISPRDetect output is integrated with other analysis tools. Notably, the predicted spacers can be directly utilised by CRISPRTarget to predict targets. CRISPRDetect enables more accurate detection of arrays and spacers and its gff output is suitable for inclusion in genome annotation pipelines and visualisation. It has been used to analyse all complete bacterial and archaeal reference genomes.

  1. Coevolution of CRISPR bacteria and phage in 2 dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Pu; Deem, Michael

    2014-03-01

    CRISPR (cluster regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a newly discovered adaptive, heritable immune system of prokaryotes. It can prevent infection of prokaryotes by phage. Most bacteria and almost all archae have CRISPR. The CRISPR system incorporates short nucleotide sequences from viruses. These incorporated sequences provide a historical record of the host and predator coevolution. We simulate the coevolution of bacteria and phage in 2 dimensions. Each phage has multiple proto-spacers that the bacteria can incorporate. Each bacterium can store multiple spacers in its CRISPR. Phages can escape recognition by the CRISPR system via point mutation or recombination. We will discuss the different evolutionary consequences of point mutation or recombination on the coevolution of bacteria and phage. We will also discuss an intriguing ``dynamic phase transition'' in the number of phage as a function of time and mutation rate. We will show that due to the arm race between phages and bacteria, the frequency of spacers and proto-spacers in a population can oscillate quite rapidly.

  2. Inhibition of CRISPR-Cas9 with Bacteriophage Proteins.

    PubMed

    Rauch, Benjamin J; Silvis, Melanie R; Hultquist, Judd F; Waters, Christopher S; McGregor, Michael J; Krogan, Nevan J; Bondy-Denomy, Joseph

    2017-01-12

    Bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems utilize sequence-specific RNA-guided nucleases to defend against bacteriophage infection. As a countermeasure, numerous phages are known that produce proteins to block the function of class 1 CRISPR-Cas systems. However, currently no proteins are known to inhibit the widely used class 2 CRISPR-Cas9 system. To find these inhibitors, we searched cas9-containing bacterial genomes for the co-existence of a CRISPR spacer and its target, a potential indicator for CRISPR inhibition. This analysis led to the discovery of four unique type II-A CRISPR-Cas9 inhibitor proteins encoded by Listeria monocytogenes prophages. More than half of L. monocytogenes strains with cas9 contain at least one prophage-encoded inhibitor, suggesting widespread CRISPR-Cas9 inactivation. Two of these inhibitors also blocked the widely used Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 when assayed in Escherichia coli and human cells. These natural Cas9-specific "anti-CRISPRs" present tools that can be used to regulate the genome engineering activities of CRISPR-Cas9.

  3. DNA motifs determining the efficiency of adaptation into the Escherichia coli CRISPR array.

    PubMed

    Yosef, Ido; Shitrit, Dror; Goren, Moran G; Burstein, David; Pupko, Tal; Qimron, Udi

    2013-08-27

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated proteins constitute a recently identified prokaryotic defense system against invading nucleic acids. DNA segments, termed protospacers, are integrated into the CRISPR array in a process called adaptation. Here, we establish a PCR-based assay that enables evaluating the adaptation efficiency of specific spacers into the type I-E Escherichia coli CRISPR array. Using this assay, we provide direct evidence that the protospacer adjacent motif along with the first base of the protospacer (5'-AAG) partially affect the efficiency of spacer acquisition. Remarkably, we identified a unique dinucleotide, 5'-AA, positioned at the 3' end of the spacer, that enhances efficiency of the spacer's acquisition. Insertion of this dinucleotide increased acquisition efficiency of two different spacers. DNA sequencing of newly adapted CRISPR arrays revealed that the position of the newly identified motif with respect to the 5'-AAG is important for affecting acquisition efficiency. Analysis of approximately 1 million spacers showed that this motif is overrepresented in frequently acquired spacers compared with those acquired rarely. Our results represent an example of a short nonprotospacer adjacent motif sequence that affects acquisition efficiency and suggest that other as yet unknown motifs affect acquisition efficiency in other CRISPR systems as well.

  4. New clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat locus spacer pair typing method based on the newly incorporated spacer for Salmonella enterica.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao; Li, Peng; Xie, Jing; Yi, Shengjie; Yang, Chaojie; Wang, Jian; Sun, Jichao; Liu, Nan; Wang, Xu; Wu, Zhihao; Wang, Ligui; Hao, Rongzhang; Wang, Yong; Jia, Leili; Li, Kaiqin; Qiu, Shaofu; Song, Hongbin

    2014-08-01

    A clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) typing method has recently been developed and used for typing and subtyping of Salmonella spp., but it is complicated and labor intensive because it has to analyze all spacers in two CRISPR loci. Here, we developed a more convenient and efficient method, namely, CRISPR locus spacer pair typing (CLSPT), which only needs to analyze the two newly incorporated spacers adjoining the leader array in the two CRISPR loci. We analyzed a CRISPR array of 82 strains belonging to 21 Salmonella serovars isolated from humans in different areas of China by using this new method. We also retrieved the newly incorporated spacers in each CRISPR locus of 537 Salmonella isolates which have definite serotypes in the Pasteur Institute's CRISPR Database to evaluate this method. Our findings showed that this new CLSPT method presents a high level of consistency (kappa = 0.9872, Matthew's correlation coefficient = 0.9712) with the results of traditional serotyping, and thus, it can also be used to predict serotypes of Salmonella spp. Moreover, this new method has a considerable discriminatory power (discriminatory index [DI] = 0.8145), comparable to those of multilocus sequence typing (DI = 0.8088) and conventional CRISPR typing (DI = 0.8684). Because CLSPT only costs about $5 to $10 per isolate, it is a much cheaper and more attractive method for subtyping of Salmonella isolates. In conclusion, this new method will provide considerable advantages over other molecular subtyping methods, and it may become a valuable epidemiologic tool for the surveillance of Salmonella infections. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. Detection and characterization of spacer integration intermediates in type I-E CRISPR–Cas system

    PubMed Central

    Arslan, Zihni; Hermanns, Veronica; Wurm, Reinhild; Wagner, Rolf; Pul, Ümit

    2014-01-01

    The adaptation against foreign nucleic acids by the CRISPR–Cas system (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and CRISPR-associated proteins) depends on the insertion of foreign nucleic acid-derived sequences into the CRISPR array as novel spacers by still unknown mechanism. We identified and characterized in Escherichia coli intermediate states of spacer integration and mapped the integration site at the chromosomal CRISPR array in vivo. The results show that the insertion of new spacers occurs by site-specific nicking at both strands of the leader proximal repeat in a staggered way and is accompanied by joining of the resulting 5′-ends of the repeat strands with the 3′-ends of the incoming spacer. This concerted cleavage-ligation reaction depends on the metal-binding center of Cas1 protein and requires the presence of Cas2. By acquisition assays using plasmid-located CRISPR array with mutated repeat sequences, we demonstrate that the primary sequence of the first repeat is crucial for cleavage of the CRISPR array and the ligation of new spacer DNA. PMID:24920831

  6. CRISPR Immunological Memory Requires a Host Factor for Specificity.

    PubMed

    Nuñez, James K; Bai, Lawrence; Harrington, Lucas B; Hinder, Tracey L; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2016-06-16

    Bacteria and archaea employ adaptive immunity against foreign genetic elements using CRISPR-Cas systems. To generate immunological memory, the Cas1-Cas2 protein complex captures 30-40 base pair segments of foreign DNA and catalyzes their integration into the host genome as unique spacer sequences. Although spacers are inserted strictly at the A-T-rich leader end of CRISPR loci in vivo, the molecular mechanism of leader-specific spacer integration remains poorly understood. Here we show that the E. coli integration host factor (IHF) protein is required for spacer acquisition in vivo and for integration into linear DNA in vitro. IHF binds to the leader sequence and induces a sharp DNA bend, allowing the Cas1-Cas2 integrase to catalyze the first integration reaction at the leader-repeat border. Together, these results reveal that Cas1-Cas2-mediated spacer integration requires IHF-induced target DNA bending and explain the elusive role of CRISPR leader sequences during spacer acquisition.

  7. CRISPR Content Correlates with the Pathogenic Potential of Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    García-Gutiérrez, Enriqueta; Almendros, Cristóbal; Mojica, Francisco J. M.; Guzmán, Noemí M.; García-Martínez, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Guide RNA molecules (crRNA) produced from clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays, altogether with effector proteins (Cas) encoded by cognate cas (CRISPR associated) genes, mount an interference mechanism (CRISPR-Cas) that limits acquisition of foreign DNA in Bacteria and Archaea. The specificity of this action is provided by the repeat intervening spacer carried in the crRNA, which upon hybridization with complementary sequences enables their degradation by a Cas endonuclease. Moreover, CRISPR arrays are dynamic landscapes that may gain new spacers from infecting elements or lose them for example during genome replication. Thus, the spacer content of a strain determines the diversity of sequences that can be targeted by the corresponding CRISPR-Cas system reflecting its functionality. Most Escherichia coli strains possess either type I-E or I-F CRISPR-Cas systems. To evaluate their impact on the pathogenicity of the species, we inferred the pathotype and pathogenic potential of 126 strains of this and other closely related species and analyzed their repeat content. Our results revealed a negative correlation between the number of I-E CRISPR units in this system and the presence of pathogenicity traits: the median number of repeats was 2.5-fold higher for commensal isolates (with 29.5 units, range 0–53) than for pathogenic ones (12.0, range 0–42). Moreover, the higher the number of virulence factors within a strain, the lower the repeat content. Additionally, pathogenic strains of distinct ecological niches (i.e., intestinal or extraintestinal) differ in repeat counts. Altogether, these findings support an evolutionary connection between CRISPR and pathogenicity in E. coli. PMID:26136211

  8. CRISPR Content Correlates with the Pathogenic Potential of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    García-Gutiérrez, Enriqueta; Almendros, Cristóbal; Mojica, Francisco J M; Guzmán, Noemí M; García-Martínez, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Guide RNA molecules (crRNA) produced from clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays, altogether with effector proteins (Cas) encoded by cognate cas (CRISPR associated) genes, mount an interference mechanism (CRISPR-Cas) that limits acquisition of foreign DNA in Bacteria and Archaea. The specificity of this action is provided by the repeat intervening spacer carried in the crRNA, which upon hybridization with complementary sequences enables their degradation by a Cas endonuclease. Moreover, CRISPR arrays are dynamic landscapes that may gain new spacers from infecting elements or lose them for example during genome replication. Thus, the spacer content of a strain determines the diversity of sequences that can be targeted by the corresponding CRISPR-Cas system reflecting its functionality. Most Escherichia coli strains possess either type I-E or I-F CRISPR-Cas systems. To evaluate their impact on the pathogenicity of the species, we inferred the pathotype and pathogenic potential of 126 strains of this and other closely related species and analyzed their repeat content. Our results revealed a negative correlation between the number of I-E CRISPR units in this system and the presence of pathogenicity traits: the median number of repeats was 2.5-fold higher for commensal isolates (with 29.5 units, range 0-53) than for pathogenic ones (12.0, range 0-42). Moreover, the higher the number of virulence factors within a strain, the lower the repeat content. Additionally, pathogenic strains of distinct ecological niches (i.e., intestinal or extraintestinal) differ in repeat counts. Altogether, these findings support an evolutionary connection between CRISPR and pathogenicity in E. coli.

  9. Crystal Structure of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-associated Csn2 Protein Revealed Ca[superscript 2+]-dependent Double-stranded DNA Binding Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Nam, Ki Hyun; Kurinov, Igor; Ke, Ailong

    2012-05-22

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated protein genes (cas genes) are widespread in bacteria and archaea. They form a line of RNA-based immunity to eradicate invading bacteriophages and malicious plasmids. A key molecular event during this process is the acquisition of new spacers into the CRISPR loci to guide the selective degradation of the matching foreign genetic elements. Csn2 is a Nmeni subtype-specific cas gene required for new spacer acquisition. Here we characterize the Enterococcus faecalis Csn2 protein as a double-stranded (ds-) DNA-binding protein and report its 2.7 {angstrom} tetrameric ring structure. The inner circle of the Csn2 tetrameric ring is {approx}26 {angstrom} wide and populated with conserved lysine residues poised for nonspecific interactions with ds-DNA. Each Csn2 protomer contains an {alpha}/{beta} domain and an {alpha}-helical domain; significant hinge motion was observed between these two domains. Ca{sup 2+} was located at strategic positions in the oligomerization interface. We further showed that removal of Ca{sup 2+} ions altered the oligomerization state of Csn2, which in turn severely decreased its affinity for ds-DNA. In summary, our results provided the first insight into the function of the Csn2 protein in CRISPR adaptation by revealing that it is a ds-DNA-binding protein functioning at the quaternary structure level and regulated by Ca{sup 2+} ions.

  10. Crystal structure of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated Csn2 protein revealed Ca2+-dependent double-stranded DNA binding activity.

    PubMed

    Nam, Ki Hyun; Kurinov, Igor; Ke, Ailong

    2011-09-02

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated protein genes (cas genes) are widespread in bacteria and archaea. They form a line of RNA-based immunity to eradicate invading bacteriophages and malicious plasmids. A key molecular event during this process is the acquisition of new spacers into the CRISPR loci to guide the selective degradation of the matching foreign genetic elements. Csn2 is a Nmeni subtype-specific cas gene required for new spacer acquisition. Here we characterize the Enterococcus faecalis Csn2 protein as a double-stranded (ds-) DNA-binding protein and report its 2.7 Å tetrameric ring structure. The inner circle of the Csn2 tetrameric ring is ∼26 Å wide and populated with conserved lysine residues poised for nonspecific interactions with ds-DNA. Each Csn2 protomer contains an α/β domain and an α-helical domain; significant hinge motion was observed between these two domains. Ca(2+) was located at strategic positions in the oligomerization interface. We further showed that removal of Ca(2+) ions altered the oligomerization state of Csn2, which in turn severely decreased its affinity for ds-DNA. In summary, our results provided the first insight into the function of the Csn2 protein in CRISPR adaptation by revealing that it is a ds-DNA-binding protein functioning at the quaternary structure level and regulated by Ca(2+) ions.

  11. Physical model of the immune response of bacteria against bacteriophage through the adaptive CRISPR-Cas immune system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Pu; Niestemski, Liang Ren; Barrick, Jeffrey E.; Deem, Michael W.

    2013-04-01

    Bacteria and archaea have evolved an adaptive, heritable immune system that recognizes and protects against viruses or plasmids. This system, known as the CRISPR-Cas system, allows the host to recognize and incorporate short foreign DNA or RNA sequences, called ‘spacers’ into its CRISPR system. Spacers in the CRISPR system provide a record of the history of bacteria and phage coevolution. We use a physical model to study the dynamics of this coevolution as it evolves stochastically over time. We focus on the impact of mutation and recombination on bacteria and phage evolution and evasion. We discuss the effect of different spacer deletion mechanisms on the coevolutionary dynamics. We make predictions about bacteria and phage population growth, spacer diversity within the CRISPR locus, and spacer protection against the phage population.

  12. CRISPR-mediated defense mechanisms in the hyperthermophilic archaeal genus Sulfolobus

    PubMed Central

    Manica, Andrea; Schleper, Christa

    2013-01-01

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-mediated virus defense based on small RNAs is a hallmark of archaea and also found in many bacteria. Archaeal genomes and, in particular, organisms of the extremely thermoacidophilic genus Sulfolobus, carry extensive CRISPR loci each with dozens of sequence signatures (spacers) able to mediate targeting and degradation of complementary invading nucleic acids. The diversity of CRISPR systems and their associated protein complexes indicates an extensive functional breadth and versatility of this adaptive immune system. Sulfolobus solfataricus and S. islandicus represent two of the best characterized genetic model organisms in the archaea not only with respect to the CRISPR system. Here we address and discuss in a broader context particularly recent progress made in understanding spacer recruitment from foreign DNA, production of small RNAs, in vitro activity of CRISPR-associated protein complexes and attack of viruses and plasmids in in vivo test systems. PMID:23535277

  13. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) for the genotyping of bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Grissa, Ibtissem; Vergnaud, Gilles; Pourcel, Christine

    2009-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) are DNA sequences composed of a succession of repeats (23- to 47-bp long) separated by unique sequences called spacers. Polymorphism can be observed in different strains of a species and may be used for genotyping. We describe protocols and bioinformatics tools that allow the identification of CRISPRs from sequenced genomes, their comparison, and their component determination (the direct repeats and the spacers). A schematic representation of the spacer organization can be produced, allowing an easy comparison between strains.

  14. Comparative analysis of CRISPR loci in different Listeria monocytogenes lineages.

    PubMed

    Di, Huiling; Ye, Lei; Yan, He; Meng, Hecheng; Yamasak, Shinji; Shi, Lei

    2014-11-21

    Listeria monocytogenes, an important food-borne pathogen, causes high mortality rate of listeriosis. Pan-genomic comparisons revealed the species genome of L. monocytogenes is highly stable but not completely clonal. The population structure of this species displays at least four evolutionary lineages (I-IV). Isolates of different lineages displayed distinct genetic, phenotypic and ecologic characteristics, which appear to affect their ability to be transmitted through foods and to cause human disease, as well as their ability to thrive in markedly phage-rich environments. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindrome repeats), a recently described adaptive immunity system, not only confers defense against invading elements derived from bacteriophages or plasmids in many bacteria and archaeal, but also displays strains-level variations in almost any given endowed species. This work was aimed to investigate CRISPR diversity in L. monocytogenes strains of different lineages and estimated the potential practicability of the CRISPR-based approach to resolve this species' biodiversity. Only a third of strains contained all three CRISPR loci (here defined as LMa, LMb and LMc) at same time. Combined the strain-level variations in presence/absence of each CRISPR locus and its relative size and spacer arrangements, a total of 29 CRISPR genotypes and 11 groups were defined within a collection of 128 strains covering all serotypes. The CRISPR-based approach showed powerful ability to subtype the more commonly food-borne isolates of serotype 1/2a (lineage II) and serotypes 1/2b (lineage I), but limited by the absence of typical CRISPR structure in many lineage I isolates. Strikingly, we found a long associated cas1 gene as well as two self-targeting LMb spacers accidently homologous with endogenous genes in a fraction of serotype 1/2a isolations, demonstrated that CRISPR I B system might involve in bacterial physiology besides antiviral immunity.

  15. Intricate interactions between the bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa and foreign genetic elements, revealed by diversified clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) signatures.

    PubMed

    Kuno, Sotaro; Yoshida, Takashi; Kaneko, Takakazu; Sako, Yoshihiko

    2012-08-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) confer sequence-dependent, adaptive resistance in prokaryotes against viruses and plasmids via incorporation of short sequences, called spacers, derived from foreign genetic elements. CRISPR loci are thus considered to provide records of past infections. To describe the host-parasite (i.e., cyanophages and plasmids) interactions involving the bloom-forming freshwater cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, we investigated CRISPR in four M. aeruginosa strains and in two previously sequenced genomes. The number of spacers in each locus was larger than the average among prokaryotes. All spacers were strain specific, except for a string of 11 spacers shared in two closely related strains, suggesting diversification of the loci. Using CRISPR repeat-based PCR, 24 CRISPR genotypes were identified in a natural cyanobacterial community. Among 995 unique spacers obtained, only 10 sequences showed similarity to M. aeruginosa phage Ma-LMM01. Of these, six spacers showed only silent or conservative nucleotide mutations compared to Ma-LMM01 sequences, suggesting a strategy by the cyanophage to avert CRISPR immunity dependent on nucleotide identity. These results imply that host-phage interactions can be divided into M. aeruginosa-cyanophage combinations rather than pandemics of population-wide infectious cyanophages. Spacer similarity also showed frequent exposure of M. aeruginosa to small cryptic plasmids that were observed only in a few strains. Thus, the diversification of CRISPR implies that M. aeruginosa has been challenged by diverse communities (almost entirely uncharacterized) of cyanophages and plasmids.

  16. Intricate Interactions between the Bloom-Forming Cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa and Foreign Genetic Elements, Revealed by Diversified Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Kuno, Sotaro; Kaneko, Takakazu; Sako, Yoshihiko

    2012-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) confer sequence-dependent, adaptive resistance in prokaryotes against viruses and plasmids via incorporation of short sequences, called spacers, derived from foreign genetic elements. CRISPR loci are thus considered to provide records of past infections. To describe the host-parasite (i.e., cyanophages and plasmids) interactions involving the bloom-forming freshwater cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, we investigated CRISPR in four M. aeruginosa strains and in two previously sequenced genomes. The number of spacers in each locus was larger than the average among prokaryotes. All spacers were strain specific, except for a string of 11 spacers shared in two closely related strains, suggesting diversification of the loci. Using CRISPR repeat-based PCR, 24 CRISPR genotypes were identified in a natural cyanobacterial community. Among 995 unique spacers obtained, only 10 sequences showed similarity to M. aeruginosa phage Ma-LMM01. Of these, six spacers showed only silent or conservative nucleotide mutations compared to Ma-LMM01 sequences, suggesting a strategy by the cyanophage to avert CRISPR immunity dependent on nucleotide identity. These results imply that host-phage interactions can be divided into M. aeruginosa-cyanophage combinations rather than pandemics of population-wide infectious cyanophages. Spacer similarity also showed frequent exposure of M. aeruginosa to small cryptic plasmids that were observed only in a few strains. Thus, the diversification of CRISPR implies that M. aeruginosa has been challenged by diverse communities (almost entirely uncharacterized) of cyanophages and plasmids. PMID:22636003

  17. Costs of CRISPR-Cas-mediated resistance in Streptococcus thermophilus

    PubMed Central

    Vale, Pedro F.; Lafforgue, Guillaume; Gatchitch, Francois; Gardan, Rozenn; Moineau, Sylvain; Gandon, Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas is a form of adaptive sequence-specific immunity in microbes. This system offers unique opportunities for the study of coevolution between bacteria and their viral pathogens, bacteriophages. A full understanding of the coevolutionary dynamics of CRISPR-Cas requires knowing the magnitude of the cost of resisting infection. Here, using the gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus thermophilus and its associated virulent phage 2972, a well-established model system harbouring at least two type II functional CRISPR-Cas systems, we obtained different fitness measures based on growth assays in isolation or in pairwise competition. We measured the fitness cost associated with different components of this adaptive immune system: the cost of Cas protein expression, the constitutive cost of increasing immune memory through additional spacers, and the conditional costs of immunity during phage exposure. We found that Cas protein expression is particularly costly, as Cas-deficient mutants achieved higher competitive abilities than the wild-type strain with functional Cas proteins. Increasing immune memory by acquiring up to four phage-derived spacers was not associated with fitness costs. In addition, the activation of the CRISPR-Cas system during phage exposure induces significant but small fitness costs. Together these results suggest that the costs of the CRISPR-Cas system arise mainly due to the maintenance of the defence system. We discuss the implications of these results for the evolution of CRISPR-Cas-mediated immunity. PMID:26224708

  18. RNA in defense: CRISPRs protect prokaryotes against mobile genetic elements.

    PubMed

    Jore, Matthijs M; Brouns, Stan J J; van der Oost, John

    2012-06-01

    The CRISPR/Cas system in prokaryotes provides resistance against invading viruses and plasmids. Three distinct stages in the mechanism can be recognized. Initially, fragments of invader DNA are integrated as new spacers into the repetitive CRISPR locus. Subsequently, the CRISPR is transcribed and the transcript is cleaved by a Cas protein within the repeats, generating short RNAs (crRNAs) that contain the spacer sequence. Finally, crRNAs guide the Cas protein machinery to a complementary invader target, either DNA or RNA, resulting in inhibition of virus or plasmid proliferation. In this article, we discuss our current understanding of this fascinating adaptive and heritable defense system, and describe functional similarities and differences with RNAi in eukaryotes.

  19. RNA in Defense: CRISPRs Protect Prokaryotes against Mobile Genetic Elements

    PubMed Central

    Jore, Matthijs M.; Brouns, Stan J.J.; van der Oost, John

    2012-01-01

    The CRISPR/Cas system in prokaryotes provides resistance against invading viruses and plasmids. Three distinct stages in the mechanism can be recognized. Initially, fragments of invader DNA are integrated as new spacers into the repetitive CRISPR locus. Subsequently, the CRISPR is transcribed and the transcript is cleaved by a Cas protein within the repeats, generating short RNAs (crRNAs) that contain the spacer sequence. Finally, crRNAs guide the Cas protein machinery to a complementary invader target, either DNA or RNA, resulting in inhibition of virus or plasmid proliferation. In this article, we discuss our current understanding of this fascinating adaptive and heritable defense system, and describe functional similarities and differences with RNAi in eukaryotes. PMID:21441598

  20. Phylogenetic Distribution of CRISPR-Cas Systems in Antibiotic-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    van Belkum, Alex; Soriaga, Leah B.; LaFave, Matthew C.; Akella, Srividya; Veyrieras, Jean-Baptiste; Barbu, E. Magda; Shortridge, Dee; Blanc, Bernadette; Hannum, Gregory; Zambardi, Gilles; Miller, Kristofer; Enright, Mark C.; Mugnier, Nathalie; Brami, Daniel; Schicklin, Stéphane; Felderman, Martina; Schwartz, Ariel S.; Richardson, Toby H.; Peterson, Todd C.; Hubby, Bolyn

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an antibiotic-refractory pathogen with a large genome and extensive genotypic diversity. Historically, P. aeruginosa has been a major model system for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying type I clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein (CRISPR-Cas)-based bacterial immune system function. However, little information on the phylogenetic distribution and potential role of these CRISPR-Cas systems in molding the P. aeruginosa accessory genome and antibiotic resistance elements is known. Computational approaches were used to identify and characterize CRISPR-Cas systems within 672 genomes, and in the process, we identified a previously unreported and putatively mobile type I-C P. aeruginosa CRISPR-Cas system. Furthermore, genomes harboring noninhibited type I-F and I-E CRISPR-Cas systems were on average ~300 kb smaller than those without a CRISPR-Cas system. In silico analysis demonstrated that the accessory genome (n = 22,036 genes) harbored the majority of identified CRISPR-Cas targets. We also assembled a global spacer library that aided the identification of difficult-to-characterize mobile genetic elements within next-generation sequencing (NGS) data and allowed CRISPR typing of a majority of P. aeruginosa strains. In summary, our analysis demonstrated that CRISPR-Cas systems play an important role in shaping the accessory genomes of globally distributed P. aeruginosa isolates. PMID:26604259

  1. CRISPR-Cas: an adaptive immunity system in prokaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Makarova, Kira S

    2009-01-01

    Most of the archaea and numerous bacteria possess an elaborate system of adaptive immunity to mobile genetic elements known as the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-associated system (CRISPR-Cas), which consists of arrays of short repeats interspersed with unique DNA spacers and adjacent operons encompassing CRISPR-associated (cas) genes with predicted and, in some cases, experimentally validated nuclease, helicase, and polymerase activities. The system functions by integrating fragments of alien DNA between the repeats and employing their transcripts to degrade the DNA of the respective invading elements via an RNA interference-like mechanism. The CRISPR-Cas system is a case of apparent Lamarckian inheritance. PMID:20556198

  2. Holding a grudge: persisting anti-phage CRISPR immunity in multiple human gut microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Mick, Eran; Stern, Adi; Sorek, Rotem

    2013-05-01

    The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas (CRISPR-associated) system of bacteria and archaea constitutes a mechanism of acquired adaptive immunity against phages, which is based on genome-encoded markers of previously infecting phage sequences ("spacers"). As a repository of phage sequences, these spacers make the system particularly suitable for elucidating phage-bacteria interactions in metagenomic studies. Recent metagenomic analyses of CRISPRs associated with the human microbiome intriguingly revealed conserved "memory spacers" shared by bacteria in multiple unrelated, geographically separated individuals. Here, we discuss possible avenues for explaining this phenomenon by integrating insights from CRISPR biology and phage-bacteria ecology, with a special focus on the human gut. We further explore the growing body of evidence for the role of CRISPR/Cas in regulating the interplay between bacteria and lysogenic phages, which may be intimately related to the presence of memory spacers and sheds new light on the multifaceted biological and ecological modes of action of CRISPR/Cas.

  3. Association of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) Elements with Specific Serotypes and Virulence Potential of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Toro, Magaly; Cao, Guojie; Ju, Wenting; Allard, Marc; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Zhao, Shaohua; Brown, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains (n = 194) representing 43 serotypes and E. coli K-12 were examined for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays to study genetic relatedness among STEC serotypes. A subset of the strains (n = 81) was further analyzed for subtype I-E cas and virulence genes to determine a possible association of CRISPR elements with potential virulence. Four types of CRISPR arrays were identified. CRISPR1 and CRISPR2 were present in all strains tested; 1 strain also had both CRISPR3 and CRISPR4, whereas 193 strains displayed a short, combined array, CRISPR3-4. A total of 3,353 spacers were identified, representing 528 distinct spacers. The average length of a spacer was 32 bp. Approximately one-half of the spacers (54%) were unique and found mostly in strains of less common serotypes. Overall, CRISPR spacer contents correlated well with STEC serotypes, and identical arrays were shared between strains with the same H type (O26:H11, O103:H11, and O111:H11). There was no association identified between the presence of subtype I-E cas and virulence genes, but the total number of spacers had a negative correlation with potential pathogenicity (P < 0.05). Fewer spacers were found in strains that had a greater probability of causing outbreaks and disease than in those with lower virulence potential (P < 0.05). The relationship between the CRISPR-cas system and potential virulence needs to be determined on a broader scale, and the biological link will need to be established. PMID:24334663

  4. Association of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) elements with specific serotypes and virulence potential of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Toro, Magaly; Cao, Guojie; Ju, Wenting; Allard, Marc; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Zhao, Shaohua; Brown, Eric; Meng, Jianghong

    2014-02-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains (n = 194) representing 43 serotypes and E. coli K-12 were examined for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays to study genetic relatedness among STEC serotypes. A subset of the strains (n = 81) was further analyzed for subtype I-E cas and virulence genes to determine a possible association of CRISPR elements with potential virulence. Four types of CRISPR arrays were identified. CRISPR1 and CRISPR2 were present in all strains tested; 1 strain also had both CRISPR3 and CRISPR4, whereas 193 strains displayed a short, combined array, CRISPR3-4. A total of 3,353 spacers were identified, representing 528 distinct spacers. The average length of a spacer was 32 bp. Approximately one-half of the spacers (54%) were unique and found mostly in strains of less common serotypes. Overall, CRISPR spacer contents correlated well with STEC serotypes, and identical arrays were shared between strains with the same H type (O26:H11, O103:H11, and O111:H11). There was no association identified between the presence of subtype I-E cas and virulence genes, but the total number of spacers had a negative correlation with potential pathogenicity (P < 0.05). Fewer spacers were found in strains that had a greater probability of causing outbreaks and disease than in those with lower virulence potential (P < 0.05). The relationship between the CRISPR-cas system and potential virulence needs to be determined on a broader scale, and the biological link will need to be established.

  5. CRISPR regulation of intraspecies diversification by limiting IS transposition and intercellular recombination.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takayasu; Nozawa, Takashi; Aikawa, Chihiro; Amano, Atsuo; Maruyama, Fumito; Nakagawa, Ichiro

    2013-01-01

    Mobile genetic elements (MGEs) and genetic rearrangement are considered as major driving forces of bacterial diversification. Previous comparative genome analysis of Porphyromonas gingivalis, a pathogen related to periodontitis, implied such an important relationship. As a counterpart system to MGEs, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) in bacteria may be useful for genetic typing. We found that CRISPR typing could be a reasonable alternative to conventional methods for characterizing phylogenetic relationships among 60 highly diverse P. gingivalis isolates. Examination of genetic recombination along with multilocus sequence typing suggests the importance of such events between different isolates. MGEs appear to be strategically located at the breakpoint gaps of complicated genome rearrangements. Of these MGEs, insertion sequences (ISs) were found most frequently. CRISPR analysis identified 2,150 spacers that were clustered into 1,187 unique ones. Most of these spacers exhibited no significant nucleotide similarity to known sequences (97.6%: 1,158/1,187). Surprisingly, CRISPR spacers exhibiting high nucleotide similarity to regions of P. gingivalis genomes including ISs were predominant. The proportion of such spacers to all the unique spacers (1.6%: 19/1,187) was the highest among previous studies, suggesting novel functions for these CRISPRs. These results indicate that P. gingivalis is a bacterium with high intraspecies diversity caused by frequent insertion sequence (IS) transposition, whereas both the introduction of foreign DNA, primarily from other P. gingivalis cells, and IS transposition are limited by CRISPR interference. It is suggested that P. gingivalis CRISPRs could be an important source for understanding the role of CRISPRs in the development of bacterial diversity.

  6. The driving force of prophages and CRISPR-Cas system in the evolution of Cronobacter sakazakii

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Haiyan; Zhang, Jumei; Li, Chensi; Xie, Tengfei; Ling, Na; Wu, Qingping; Ye, Yingwang

    2017-01-01

    Cronobacter sakazakii is an important foodborne pathogens causing rare but life-threatening diseases in neonates and infants. CRISPR-Cas system is a new prokaryotic defense system that provides adaptive immunity against phages, latter play an vital role on the evolution and pathogenicity of host bacteria. In this study, we found that genome sizes of C. sakazakii strains had a significant positive correlation with total genome sizes of prophages. Prophages contributed to 16.57% of the genetic diversity (pan genome) of C. sakazakii, some of which maybe the potential virulence factors. Subtype I-E CRISPR-Cas system and five types of CRISPR arrays were found in the conserved site of C. sakazakii strains. CRISPR1 and CRISPR2 loci with high variable spacers were active and showed potential protection against phage attacks. The number of spacers from two active CRISPR loci in clinical strains was significant less than that of foodborne strains, it maybe a reason why clinical strains were found to have more prophages than foodborne strains. The frequently gain/loss of prophages and spacers in CRISPR loci is likely to drive the quick evolution of C. sakazakii. Our study provides a new insight into the co-evolution of phages and C. sakazakii. PMID:28057934

  7. Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) diversity and virulence factor distribution in avian Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Fu, Qiang; Su, Zhixin; Cheng, Yuqiang; Wang, Zhaofei; Li, Shiyu; Wang, Heng'an; Sun, Jianhe; Yan, Yaxian

    In order to investigate the diverse characteristics of clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays and the distribution of virulence factor genes in avian Escherichia coli, 80 E. coli isolates obtained from chickens with avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) or avian fecal commensal E. coli (AFEC) were identified. Using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), five genes were subjected to phylogenetic typing and examined for CRISPR arrays to study genetic relatedness among the strains. The strains were further analyzed for CRISPR loci and virulence factor genes to determine a possible association between their CRISPR elements and their potential virulence. The strains were divided into five phylogenetic groups: A, B1, B2, D and E. It was confirmed that two types of CRISPR arrays, CRISPR1 and CRISPR2, which contain up to 246 distinct spacers, were amplified in most of the strains. Further classification of the isolates was achieved by sorting them into nine CRISPR clusters based on their spacer profiles, which indicates a candidate typing method for E. coli. Several significant differences in invasion-associated gene distribution were found between the APEC isolates and the AFEC isolates. Our results identified the distribution of 11 virulence genes and CRISPR diversity in 80 strains. It was demonstrated that, with the exception of iucD and aslA, there was no sharp demarcation in the gene distribution between the pathogenic (APEC) and commensal (AFEC) strains, while the total number of indicated CRISPR spacers may have a positive correlation with the potential pathogenicity of the E. coli isolates. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  8. Sequences spanning the leader-repeat junction mediate CRISPR adaptation to phage in Streptococcus thermophilus.

    PubMed

    Wei, Yunzhou; Chesne, Megan T; Terns, Rebecca M; Terns, Michael P

    2015-02-18

    CRISPR-Cas systems are RNA-based immune systems that protect prokaryotes from invaders such as phages and plasmids. In adaptation, the initial phase of the immune response, short foreign DNA fragments are captured and integrated into host CRISPR loci to provide heritable defense against encountered foreign nucleic acids. Each CRISPR contains a ∼100-500 bp leader element that typically includes a transcription promoter, followed by an array of captured ∼35 bp sequences (spacers) sandwiched between copies of an identical ∼35 bp direct repeat sequence. New spacers are added immediately downstream of the leader. Here, we have analyzed adaptation to phage infection in Streptococcus thermophilus at the CRISPR1 locus to identify cis-acting elements essential for the process. We show that the leader and a single repeat of the CRISPR locus are sufficient for adaptation in this system. Moreover, we identified a leader sequence element capable of stimulating adaptation at a dormant repeat. We found that sequences within 10 bp of the site of integration, in both the leader and repeat of the CRISPR, are required for the process. Our results indicate that information at the CRISPR leader-repeat junction is critical for adaptation in this Type II-A system and likely other CRISPR-Cas systems.

  9. Imipenem represses CRISPR-Cas interference of DNA acquisition through H-NS stimulation in Klebsiella pneumoniae

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Tzu-Lung; Pan, Yi-Jiun; Hsieh, Pei-Fang; Hsu, Chun-Ru; Wu, Meng-Chuan; Wang, Jin-Town

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of the genome of Klebsiella pneumoniae NTUH-K2044 strain revealed the presence of two clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) arrays separated with CRISPR-associated (cas) genes. Carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae isolates were observed to be less likely to have CRISPR-Cas than sensitive strains (5/85 vs. 22/132). Removal of the transcriptional repressor, H-NS, was shown to prevent the transformation of plasmids carrying a spacer and putative proto-spacer adjacent motif (PAM). The CRISPR-Cas system also decreased pUC-4K plasmid stability, resulting in plasmid loss from the bacteria with acquisition of new spacers. Analysis of the acquired proto-spacers in pUC-4K indicated that 5′-TTN-3′ was the preferred PAM in K. pneumoniae. Treatment of cells by imipenem induced hns expression, thereby decreasing cas3 expression and consequently repressed CRISPR-Cas activity resulted in increase of plasmid stability. In conclusion, NTUH-K2044 CRISPR-Cas contributes to decrease of plasmid transformation and stability. Through repression of CRISPR-Cas activity by induced H-NS, bacteria might be more able to acquire DNA to confront the challenge of imipenem. PMID:27531594

  10. Degenerate target sites mediate rapid primed CRISPR adaptation.

    PubMed

    Fineran, Peter C; Gerritzen, Matthias J H; Suárez-Diez, María; Künne, Tim; Boekhorst, Jos; van Hijum, Sacha A F T; Staals, Raymond H J; Brouns, Stan J J

    2014-04-22

    Prokaryotes encode adaptive immune systems, called CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR associated), to provide resistance against mobile invaders, such as viruses and plasmids. Host immunity is based on incorporation of invader DNA sequences in a memory locus (CRISPR), the formation of guide RNAs from this locus, and the degradation of cognate invader DNA (protospacer). Invaders can escape type I-E CRISPR-Cas immunity in Escherichia coli K12 by making point mutations in the seed region of the protospacer or its adjacent motif (PAM), but hosts quickly restore immunity by integrating new spacers in a positive-feedback process termed "priming." Here, by using a randomized protospacer and PAM library and high-throughput plasmid loss assays, we provide a systematic analysis of the constraints of both direct interference and subsequent priming in E. coli. We have defined a high-resolution genetic map of direct interference by Cascade and Cas3, which includes five positions of the protospacer at 6-nt intervals that readily tolerate mutations. Importantly, we show that priming is an extremely robust process capable of using degenerate target regions, with up to 13 mutations throughout the PAM and protospacer region. Priming is influenced by the number of mismatches, their position, and is nucleotide dependent. Our findings imply that even outdated spacers containing many mismatches can induce a rapid primed CRISPR response against diversified or related invaders, giving microbes an advantage in the coevolutionary arms race with their invaders.

  11. Mobile CRISPR/Cas-Mediated Bacteriophage Resistance in Lactococcus lactis

    PubMed Central

    Millen, Anne M.; Horvath, Philippe; Boyaval, Patrick; Romero, Dennis A.

    2012-01-01

    Lactococcus lactis is a biotechnological workhorse for food fermentations and potentially therapeutic products and is therefore widely consumed by humans. It is predominantly used as a starter microbe for fermented dairy products, and specialized strains have adapted from a plant environment through reductive evolution and horizontal gene transfer as evidenced by the association of adventitious traits with mobile elements. Specifically, L. lactis has armed itself with a myriad of plasmid-encoded bacteriophage defensive systems to protect against viral predation. This known arsenal had not included CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated proteins), which forms a remarkable microbial immunity system against invading DNA. Although CRISPR/Cas systems are common in the genomes of closely related lactic acid bacteria (LAB), none was identified within the eight published lactococcal genomes. Furthermore, a PCR-based search of the common LAB CRISPR/Cas systems (Types I and II) in 383 industrial L. lactis strains proved unsuccessful. Here we describe a novel, Type III, self-transmissible, plasmid-encoded, phage-interfering CRISPR/Cas discovered in L. lactis. The native CRISPR spacers confer resistance based on sequence identity to corresponding lactococcal phage. The interference is directed at phages problematic to the dairy industry, indicative of a responsive system. Moreover, targeting could be modified by engineering the spacer content. The 62.8-kb plasmid was shown to be conjugally transferrable to various strains. Its mobility should facilitate dissemination within microbial communities and provide a readily applicable system to naturally introduce CRISPR/Cas to industrially relevant strains for enhanced phage resistance and prevention against acquisition of undesirable genes. PMID:23240053

  12. Subtyping of the Legionella pneumophila "Ulm" outbreak strain using the CRISPR-Cas system.

    PubMed

    Lück, Christian; Brzuszkiewicz, Elzbieta; Rydzewski, Kerstin; Koshkolda, Tetyana; Sarnow, Katharina; Essig, Andreas; Heuner, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    In 2009/2010 an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease with 64 cases including four fatalities took place in the city of Ulm/Neu-Ulm in Germany. L. pneumophila serogroup 1, mAb type Knoxville, sequence type (ST) 62 was identified as the epidemic strain. This strain was isolated from eight patients and from a cooling tower in the city of Ulm. Based on whole genome sequencing data from one patient strain, we identified an Lvh type IV secretion system containing a CRISPR-Cas system. The CRISPR sequence contains 38 spacer DNA sequences. We used these variable DNA spacers to further subtype the outbreak strain as well as six epidemiologically unrelated strains of CRISPR-Cas positive ST62 strains isolated at various regions in Germany. The first 12 spacer DNAs of eight patient isolates and three environmental isolates from the suspected source of infection were analyzed and found to be identical. Spacer DNAs were identified in further six epidemiologically unrelated patient isolates of L. pneumophila of ST62 in addition to the 12 "core" spacers. The presence of new spacer DNAs at the 5' site downstream of the first repeat indicates that these CRISPR-Cas systems seem to be functional. PCR analysis revealed that not all L. pneumophila sg1 ST62 strains investigated exhibited a CRISPR-Cas system. In addition, we could demonstrate that the CRISPR-Cas system is localized on a genomic island (LpuGI-Lvh) which can be excised from the chromosome and therefore may be transferable horizontally to other L. pneumophila strains.

  13. A Guild of 45 CRISPR-Associated (Cas) Protein Families and Multiple CRISPR/Cas Subtypes Exist in Prokaryotic Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Haft, Daniel H; Selengut, Jeremy; Mongodin, Emmanuel F; Nelson, Karen E

    2005-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) are a family of DNA direct repeats found in many prokaryotic genomes. Repeats of 21–37 bp typically show weak dyad symmetry and are separated by regularly sized, nonrepetitive spacer sequences. Four CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein families, designated Cas1 to Cas4, are strictly associated with CRISPR elements and always occur near a repeat cluster. Some spacers originate from mobile genetic elements and are thought to confer “immunity” against the elements that harbor these sequences. In the present study, we have systematically investigated uncharacterized proteins encoded in the vicinity of these CRISPRs and found many additional protein families that are strictly associated with CRISPR loci across multiple prokaryotic species. Multiple sequence alignments and hidden Markov models have been built for 45 Cas protein families. These models identify family members with high sensitivity and selectivity and classify key regulators of development, DevR and DevS, in Myxococcus xanthus as Cas proteins. These identifications show that CRISPR/cas gene regions can be quite large, with up to 20 different, tandem-arranged cas genes next to a repeat cluster or filling the region between two repeat clusters. Distinctive subsets of the collection of Cas proteins recur in phylogenetically distant species and correlate with characteristic repeat periodicity. The analyses presented here support initial proposals of mobility of these units, along with the likelihood that loci of different subtypes interact with one another as well as with host cell defensive, replicative, and regulatory systems. It is evident from this analysis that CRISPR/cas loci are larger, more complex, and more heterogeneous than previously appreciated. PMID:16292354

  14. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli are less likely than paired fecal E. coli to have CRISPR loci.

    PubMed

    Dang, Trang Nguyen Doan; Zhang, Lixin; Zöllner, Sebastian; Srinivasan, Usha; Abbas, Khadija; Marrs, Carl F; Foxman, Betsy

    2013-10-01

    CRISPRs (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) are short fragments of DNA that act as an adaptive immune system protecting bacteria against invasion by phages, plasmids or other forms of foreign DNA. Bacteria without a CRISPR locus may more readily adapt to environmental changes by acquiring foreign genetic material. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) live in a number of environments suggesting an ability to rapidly adapt to new environments. If UPEC are more adaptive than commensal E. coli we would expect that UPEC would have fewer CRISPR loci, and--if loci are present--that they would harbor fewer spacers than CRISPR loci in fecal E. coli. We tested this in vivo by comparing the number of CRISPR loci and spacers, and sensitivity to antibiotics (resistance is often obtained via plasmids) among 81 pairs of UPEC and fecal E. coli isolated from women with urinary tract infection. Each pair included one uropathogen and one commensal (fecal) sample from the same female patient. Fecal isolates had more repeats (p=0.009) and more unique spacers (p<0.0001) at four CRISPR loci than uropathogens. By contrast, uropathogens were more likely than fecal E. coli to be resistant to ampicillin, cefazolin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. However, no consistent association between CRISPRs and antibiotic resistance was identified. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare fecal E. coli and pathogenic E. coli from the same individuals, and to test the association of CRISPR loci with antibiotic resistance. Our results suggest that the absence of CRISPR loci may make UPEC more susceptible to infection by phages or plasmids and allow them to adapt more quickly to various environments. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Adapting to new threats: the generation of memory by CRISPR-Cas immune systems.

    PubMed

    Heler, Robert; Marraffini, Luciano A; Bikard, David

    2014-07-01

    Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci and their associated genes (cas) confer bacteria and archaea with adaptive immunity against phages and other invading genetic elements. A fundamental requirement of any immune system is the ability to build a memory of past infections in order to deal more efficiently with recurrent infections. The adaptive feature of CRISPR-Cas immune systems relies on their ability to memorize DNA sequences of invading molecules and integrate them in between the repetitive sequences of the CRISPR array in the form of 'spacers'. The transcription of a spacer generates a small antisense RNA that is used by RNA-guided Cas nucleases to cleave the invading nucleic acid in order to protect the cell from infection. The acquisition of new spacers allows the CRISPR-Cas immune system to rapidly adapt against new threats and is therefore termed 'adaptation'. Recent studies have begun to elucidate the genetic requirements for adaptation and have demonstrated that rather than being a stochastic process, the selection of new spacers is influenced by several factors. We review here our current knowledge of the CRISPR adaptation mechanism.

  16. CRISPR-Cas systems preferentially target the leading regions of MOBF conjugative plasmids.

    PubMed

    Westra, Edze R; Staals, Raymond H J; Gort, Gerrit; Høgh, Søren; Neumann, Sarah; de la Cruz, Fernando; Fineran, Peter C; Brouns, Stan J J

    2013-05-01

    Most prokaryotes contain CRISPR-Cas immune systems that provide protection against mobile genetic elements. We have focused on the ability of CRISPR-Cas to block plasmid conjugation, and analyzed the position of target sequences (protospacers) on conjugative plasmids. The analysis reveals that protospacers are non-uniformly distributed over plasmid regions in a pattern that is determined by the plasmid's mobilization type (MOB). While MOBP plasmids are most frequently targeted in the region entering the recipient cell last (lagging region), MOBF plasmids are mostly targeted in the region entering the recipient cell first (leading region). To explain this protospacer distribution bias, we propose two mutually non-exclusive hypotheses: (1) spacers are acquired more frequently from either the leading or lagging region depending on the MOB type (2) CRISPR-interference is more efficient when spacers target these preferred regions. To test the latter hypothesis, we analyzed Type I-E CRISPR-interference against MOBF prototype plasmid F in Escherichia coli. Our results show that plasmid conjugation is effectively inhibited, but the level of immunity is not affected by targeting the plasmid in the leading or lagging region. Moreover, CRISPR-immunity levels do not depend on whether the incoming single-stranded plasmid DNA, or the DNA strand synthesized in the recipient is targeted. Our findings indicate that single-stranded DNA may not be a target for Type I-E CRISPR-Cas systems, and suggest that the protospacer distribution bias might be due to spacer acquisition preferences.

  17. Chromosomal targeting by CRISPR-Cas systems can contribute to genome plasticity in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Dy, Ron L; Pitman, Andrew R; Fineran, Peter C

    2013-09-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated (Cas) proteins form adaptive immune systems in bacteria to combat phage and other foreign genetic elements. Typically, short spacer sequences are acquired from the invader DNA and incorporated into CRISPR arrays in the bacterial genome. Small RNAs are generated that contain these spacer sequences and enable sequence-specific destruction of the foreign nucleic acids. Occasionally, spacers are acquired from the chromosome, which instead leads to targeting of the host genome. Chromosomal targeting is highly toxic to the bacterium, providing a strong selective pressure for a variety of evolutionary routes that enable host cell survival. Mutations that inactivate the CRISPR-Cas functionality, such as within the cas genes, CRISPR repeat, protospacer adjacent motifs (PAM), and target sequence, mediate escape from toxicity. This self-targeting might provide some explanation for the incomplete distribution of CRISPR-Cas systems in less than half of sequenced bacterial genomes. More importantly, self-genome targeting can cause large-scale genomic alterations, including remodeling or deletion of pathogenicity islands and other non-mobile chromosomal regions. While control of horizontal gene transfer is perceived as their main function, our recent work illuminates an alternative role of CRISPR-Cas systems in causing host genomic changes and influencing bacterial evolution.

  18. Chromosomal targeting by CRISPR-Cas systems can contribute to genome plasticity in bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Dy, Ron L; Pitman, Andrew R; Fineran, Peter C

    2013-01-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated (Cas) proteins form adaptive immune systems in bacteria to combat phage and other foreign genetic elements. Typically, short spacer sequences are acquired from the invader DNA and incorporated into CRISPR arrays in the bacterial genome. Small RNAs are generated that contain these spacer sequences and enable sequence-specific destruction of the foreign nucleic acids. Occasionally, spacers are acquired from the chromosome, which instead leads to targeting of the host genome. Chromosomal targeting is highly toxic to the bacterium, providing a strong selective pressure for a variety of evolutionary routes that enable host cell survival. Mutations that inactivate the CRISPR-Cas functionality, such as within the cas genes, CRISPR repeat, protospacer adjacent motifs (PAM), and target sequence, mediate escape from toxicity. This self-targeting might provide some explanation for the incomplete distribution of CRISPR-Cas systems in less than half of sequenced bacterial genomes. More importantly, self-genome targeting can cause large-scale genomic alterations, including remodeling or deletion of pathogenicity islands and other non-mobile chromosomal regions. While control of horizontal gene transfer is perceived as their main function, our recent work illuminates an alternative role of CRISPR-Cas systems in causing host genomic changes and influencing bacterial evolution. PMID:24251073

  19. Arrangement and number of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat spacers are associated with erythromycin susceptibility in emm12, emm75 and emm92 of group A streptococcus.

    PubMed

    Zheng, P-X; Chiang-Ni, C; Wang, S-Y; Tsai, P-J; Kuo, C-F; Chuang, W-J; Lin, Y-S; Liu, C-C; Wu, J-J

    2014-06-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are composed of numerous repeat-spacer units and are considered a prokaryotic defence system against foreign nucleic acids. Since antibiotic-resistant genes are frequently encoded in foreign nucleic acids, the aim of this study was to test whether erythromycin susceptibility in group A streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes) is associated with characteristics of CRISPR elements. Erythromycin susceptibility of 330 isolates collected between 1997 and 2003 was analysed. Among 29 emm types, emm12, emm75 and emm92 showed significant changes in erythromycin-resistance rates. By sequencing the spacers from two CRISPR loci, spacer contents in emm12, emm75 and emm92 strains were associated with erythromycin susceptibility. Strains with fewer spacers were more resistant to erythromycin. Moreover, in emm4 strains, which showed no significant change in their annual erythromycin-resistance rate, CRISPR type and number of spacers were not correlated with erythromycin susceptibility. These results highlight a novel association between CRISPR spacer content and erythromycin susceptibility in group A streptococcus. © 2013 The Authors Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2013 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

  20. The role of CRISPR-Cas systems in virulence of pathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Louwen, Rogier; Staals, Raymond H J; Endtz, Hubert P; van Baarlen, Peter; van der Oost, John

    2014-03-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes are present in many bacterial and archaeal genomes. Since the discovery of the typical CRISPR loci in the 1980s, well before their physiological role was revealed, their variable sequences have been used as a complementary typing tool in diagnostic, epidemiologic, and evolutionary analyses of prokaryotic strains. The discovery that CRISPR spacers are often identical to sequence fragments of mobile genetic elements was a major breakthrough that eventually led to the elucidation of CRISPR-Cas as an adaptive immunity system. Key elements of this unique prokaryotic defense system are small CRISPR RNAs that guide nucleases to complementary target nucleic acids of invading viruses and plasmids, generally followed by the degradation of the invader. In addition, several recent studies have pointed at direct links of CRISPR-Cas to regulation of a range of stress-related phenomena. An interesting example concerns a pathogenic bacterium that possesses a CRISPR-associated ribonucleoprotein complex that may play a dual role in defense and/or virulence. In this review, we describe recently reported cases of potential involvement of CRISPR-Cas systems in bacterial stress responses in general and bacterial virulence in particular.

  1. The Role of CRISPR-Cas Systems in Virulence of Pathogenic Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Staals, Raymond H. J.; Endtz, Hubert P.; van Baarlen, Peter; van der Oost, John

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes are present in many bacterial and archaeal genomes. Since the discovery of the typical CRISPR loci in the 1980s, well before their physiological role was revealed, their variable sequences have been used as a complementary typing tool in diagnostic, epidemiologic, and evolutionary analyses of prokaryotic strains. The discovery that CRISPR spacers are often identical to sequence fragments of mobile genetic elements was a major breakthrough that eventually led to the elucidation of CRISPR-Cas as an adaptive immunity system. Key elements of this unique prokaryotic defense system are small CRISPR RNAs that guide nucleases to complementary target nucleic acids of invading viruses and plasmids, generally followed by the degradation of the invader. In addition, several recent studies have pointed at direct links of CRISPR-Cas to regulation of a range of stress-related phenomena. An interesting example concerns a pathogenic bacterium that possesses a CRISPR-associated ribonucleoprotein complex that may play a dual role in defense and/or virulence. In this review, we describe recently reported cases of potential involvement of CRISPR-Cas systems in bacterial stress responses in general and bacterial virulence in particular. PMID:24600041

  2. [Comparative genomics and evolutionary analysis of CRISPR loci in acetic acid bacteria].

    PubMed

    Kai, Xia; Xinle, Liang; Yudong, Li

    2015-12-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) is a widespread adaptive immunity system that exists in most archaea and many bacteria against foreign DNA, such as phages, viruses and plasmids. In general, CRISPR system consists of direct repeat, leader, spacer and CRISPR-associated sequences. Acetic acid bacteria (AAB) play an important role in industrial fermentation of vinegar and bioelectrochemistry. To investigate the polymorphism and evolution pattern of CRISPR loci in acetic acid bacteria, bioinformatic analyses were performed on 48 species from three main genera (Acetobacter, Gluconacetobacter and Gluconobacter) with whole genome sequences available from the NCBI database. The results showed that the CRISPR system existed in 32 species of the 48 strains studied. Most of the CRISPR-Cas system in AAB belonged to type I CRISPR-Cas system (subtype E and C), but type II CRISPR-Cas system which contain cas9 gene was only found in the genus Acetobacter and Gluconacetobacter. The repeat sequences of some CRISPR were highly conserved among species from different genera, and the leader sequences of some CRISPR possessed conservative motif, which was associated with regulated promoters. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis of cas1 demonstrated that they were suitable for classification of species. The conservation of cas1 genes was associated with that of repeat sequences among different strains, suggesting they were subjected to similar functional constraints. Moreover, the number of spacer was positively correlated with the number of prophages and insertion sequences, indicating the acetic acid bacteria were continually invaded by new foreign DNA. The comparative analysis of CRISR loci in acetic acid bacteria provided the basis for investigating the molecular mechanism of different acetic acid tolerance and genome stability in acetic acid bacteria.

  3. Optimization of genome editing through CRISPR-Cas9 engineering.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian-Hua; Adikaram, Poorni; Pandey, Mritunjay; Genis, Allison; Simonds, William F

    2016-04-01

    CRISPR (Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)-Cas9 (CRISPR associated protein 9) has rapidly become the most promising genome editing tool with great potential to revolutionize medicine. Through guidance of a 20 nucleotide RNA (gRNA), CRISPR-Cas9 finds and cuts target protospacer DNA precisely 3 base pairs upstream of a PAM (Protospacer Adjacent Motif). The broken DNA ends are repaired by either NHEJ (Non-Homologous End Joining) resulting in small indels, or by HDR (Homology Directed Repair) for precise gene or nucleotide replacement. Theoretically, CRISPR-Cas9 could be used to modify any genomic sequences, thereby providing a simple, easy, and cost effective means of genome wide gene editing. However, the off-target activity of CRISPR-Cas9 that cuts DNA sites with imperfect matches with gRNA have been of significant concern because clinical applications require 100% accuracy. Additionally, CRISPR-Cas9 has unpredictable efficiency among different DNA target sites and the PAM requirements greatly restrict its genome editing frequency. A large number of efforts have been made to address these impeding issues, but much more is needed to fully realize the medical potential of CRISPR-Cas9. In this article, we summarize the existing problems and current advances of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology and provide perspectives for the ultimate perfection of Cas9-mediated genome editing.

  4. Diversity, evolution, and functionality of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) regions in the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora.

    PubMed

    Rezzonico, Fabio; Smits, Theo H M; Duffy, Brion

    2011-06-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas system confers acquired heritable immunity against mobile nucleic acid elements in prokaryotes, limiting phage infection and horizontal gene transfer of plasmids. In CRISPR arrays, characteristic repeats are interspersed with similarly sized nonrepetitive spacers derived from transmissible genetic elements and acquired when the cell is challenged with foreign DNA. New spacers are added sequentially and the number and type of CRISPR units can differ among strains, providing a record of phage/plasmid exposure within a species and giving a valuable typing tool. The aim of this work was to investigate CRISPR diversity in the highly homogeneous species Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight. A total of 18 CRISPR genotypes were defined within a collection of 37 cosmopolitan strains. Strains from Spiraeoideae plants clustered in three major groups: groups II and III were composed exclusively of bacteria originating from the United States, whereas group I generally contained strains of more recent dissemination obtained in Europe, New Zealand, and the Middle East. Strains from Rosoideae and Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica) clustered separately and displayed a higher intrinsic diversity than that of isolates from Spiraeoideae plants. Reciprocal exclusion was generally observed between plasmid content and cognate spacer sequences, supporting the role of the CRISPR/Cas system in protecting against foreign DNA elements. However, in several group III strains, retention of plasmid pEU30 is inconsistent with a functional CRISPR/Cas system.

  5. Substrate generation for endonucleases of CRISPR/cas systems.

    PubMed

    Zoephel, Judith; Dwarakanath, Srivatsa; Richter, Hagen; Plagens, André; Randau, Lennart

    2012-09-08

    The interaction of viruses and their prokaryotic hosts shaped the evolution of bacterial and archaeal life. Prokaryotes developed several strategies to evade viral attacks that include restriction modification, abortive infection and CRISPR/Cas systems. These adaptive immune systems found in many Bacteria and most Archaea consist of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) sequences and a number of CRISPR associated (Cas) genes (Fig. 1) (1-3). Different sets of Cas proteins and repeats define at least three major divergent types of CRISPR/Cas systems (4). The universal proteins Cas1 and Cas2 are proposed to be involved in the uptake of viral DNA that will generate a new spacer element between two repeats at the 5' terminus of an extending CRISPR cluster (5). The entire cluster is transcribed into a precursor-crRNA containing all spacer and repeat sequences and is subsequently processed by an enzyme of the diverse Cas6 family into smaller crRNAs (6-8). These crRNAs consist of the spacer sequence flanked by a 5' terminal (8 nucleotides) and a 3' terminal tag derived from the repeat sequence (9). A repeated infection of the virus can now be blocked as the new crRNA will be directed by a Cas protein complex (Cascade) to the viral DNA and identify it as such via base complementarity(10). Finally, for CRISPR/Cas type 1 systems, the nuclease Cas3 will destroy the detected invader DNA (11,12) . These processes define CRISPR/Cas as an adaptive immune system of prokaryotes and opened a fascinating research field for the study of the involved Cas proteins. The function of many Cas proteins is still elusive and the causes for the apparent diversity of the CRISPR/Cas systems remain to be illuminated. Potential activities of most Cas proteins were predicted via detailed computational analyses. A major fraction of Cas proteins are either shown or proposed to function as endonucleases (4). Here, we present methods to generate crRNAs and precursor-cRNAs for

  6. Substrate Generation for Endonucleases of CRISPR/Cas Systems

    PubMed Central

    Zoephel, Judith; Dwarakanath, Srivatsa; Richter, Hagen; Plagens, André; Randau, Lennart

    2012-01-01

    The interaction of viruses and their prokaryotic hosts shaped the evolution of bacterial and archaeal life. Prokaryotes developed several strategies to evade viral attacks that include restriction modification, abortive infection and CRISPR/Cas systems. These adaptive immune systems found in many Bacteria and most Archaea consist of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) sequences and a number of CRISPR associated (Cas) genes (Fig. 1) 1-3. Different sets of Cas proteins and repeats define at least three major divergent types of CRISPR/Cas systems 4. The universal proteins Cas1 and Cas2 are proposed to be involved in the uptake of viral DNA that will generate a new spacer element between two repeats at the 5' terminus of an extending CRISPR cluster 5. The entire cluster is transcribed into a precursor-crRNA containing all spacer and repeat sequences and is subsequently processed by an enzyme of the diverse Cas6 family into smaller crRNAs 6-8. These crRNAs consist of the spacer sequence flanked by a 5' terminal (8 nucleotides) and a 3' terminal tag derived from the repeat sequence 9. A repeated infection of the virus can now be blocked as the new crRNA will be directed by a Cas protein complex (Cascade) to the viral DNA and identify it as such via base complementarity10. Finally, for CRISPR/Cas type 1 systems, the nuclease Cas3 will destroy the detected invader DNA 11,12 . These processes define CRISPR/Cas as an adaptive immune system of prokaryotes and opened a fascinating research field for the study of the involved Cas proteins. The function of many Cas proteins is still elusive and the causes for the apparent diversity of the CRISPR/Cas systems remain to be illuminated. Potential activities of most Cas proteins were predicted via detailed computational analyses. A major fraction of Cas proteins are either shown or proposed to function as endonucleases 4. Here, we present methods to generate crRNAs and precursor-cRNAs for the study of

  7. Stygiolobus Rod-Shaped Virus and the Interplay of Crenarchaeal Rudiviruses with the CRISPR Antiviral System▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Vestergaard, Gisle; Shah, Shiraz A.; Bize, Ariane; Reitberger, Werner; Reuter, Monika; Phan, Hien; Briegel, Ariane; Rachel, Reinhard; Garrett, Roger A.; Prangishvili, David

    2008-01-01

    A newly characterized archaeal rudivirus Stygiolobus rod-shaped virus (SRV), which infects a hyperthermophilic Stygiolobus species, was isolated from a hot spring in the Azores, Portugal. Its virions are rod-shaped, 702 (± 50) by 22 (± 3) nm in size, and nonenveloped and carry three tail fibers at each terminus. The linear double-stranded DNA genome contains 28,096 bp and an inverted terminal repeat of 1,030 bp. The SRV shows morphological and genomic similarities to the other characterized rudiviruses Sulfolobus rod-shaped virus 1 (SIRV1), SIRV2, and Acidianus rod-shaped virus 1, isolated from hot acidic springs of Iceland and Italy. The single major rudiviral structural protein is shown to generate long tubular structures in vitro of similar dimensions to those of the virion, and we estimate that the virion constitutes a single, superhelical, double-stranded DNA embedded into such a protein structure. Three additional minor conserved structural proteins are also identified. Ubiquitous rudiviral proteins with assigned functions include glycosyl transferases and a S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferase, as well as a Holliday junction resolvase, a transcriptionally coupled helicase and nuclease implicated in DNA replication. Analysis of matches between known crenarchaeal chromosomal CRISPR spacer sequences, implicated in a viral defense system, and rudiviral genomes revealed that about 10% of the 3,042 unique acidothermophile spacers yield significant matches to rudiviral genomes, with a bias to highly conserved protein genes, consistent with the widespread presence of rudiviruses in hot acidophilic environments. We propose that the 12-bp indels which are commonly found in conserved rudiviral protein genes may be generated as a reaction to the presence of the host CRISPR defense system. PMID:18723627

  8. Structure and variation of CRISPR and CRISPR-flanking regions in deleted-direct repeat region Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains.

    PubMed

    Freidlin, Paul Jeffrey; Nissan, Israel; Luria, Anna; Goldblatt, Drora; Schaffer, Lana; Kaidar-Shwartz, Hasia; Chemtob, Daniel; Dveyrin, Zeev; Head, Steven Robert; Rorman, Efrat

    2017-02-15

    CRISPR and CRISPR-flanking genomic regions are important for molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) strains, and potentially for adaptive immunity to phage and plasmid DNA, and endogenous roles in the bacterium. Genotyping in the Israel National Mycobacterium Reference Center Tel-Aviv of over 1500 MTBC strains from 2008-2013 showed three strains with validated negative 43-spacer spoligotypes, that is, with putatively deleted direct repeat regions (deleted-DR/CRISPR regions). Two isolates of each of three negative spoligotype MTBC (a total of 6 isolates) were subjected to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). As positive controls, NGS was performed for three intact-DR isolates belonging to T3_Eth, the largest multiple-drug-resistant (MDR)-containing African-origin cluster in Israel. Other controls consisted of NGS reads and complete whole genome sequences from GenBank for 20 intact-DR MTBC and for 1 deleted-DR MTBC strain recognized as CAS by its defining RD deletion. NGS reads from negative spoligotype MTBC mapped to reference H37Rv NC_000962.3 suggested that the DR/CRISPR regions were completely deleted except for retention of the middle IS6110 mobile element. Clonally specific deletion of CRISPR-flanking genes also was observed, including deletion of at least cas2 and cas1 genes. Genomic RD deletions defined lineages corresponding to the major spoligotype families Beijing, EAI, and Haarlem, consistent with 24 loci MIRU-VNTR profiles. Analysis of NGS reads, and analysis of contigs obtained by manual PCR confirmed that all 43 gold standard DR/CRISPR spacers were missing in the deleted-DR genomes. Although many negative spoligotype strains are recorded as spoligotype-international-type (SIT) 2669 in the SITVIT international database, this is the first time to our knowledge that it has been shown that negative spoligotype strains are found in at least 4 different 24 loci MIRU-VNTR and RD deletion families. We report for the first time

  9. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) analysis of members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

    PubMed

    Botelho, Ana; Canto, Ana; Leão, Célia; Cunha, Mónica V

    2015-01-01

    Typical CRISPR (clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat) regions are constituted by short direct repeats (DRs), interspersed with similarly sized non-repetitive spacers, derived from transmissible genetic elements, acquired when the cell is challenged with foreign DNA. The analysis of the structure, in number and nature, of CRISPR spacers is a valuable tool for molecular typing since these loci are polymorphic among strains, originating characteristic signatures. The existence of CRISPR structures in the genome of the members of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) enabled the development of a genotyping method, based on the analysis of the presence or absence of 43 oligonucleotide spacers separated by conserved DRs. This method, called spoligotyping, consists on PCR amplification of the DR chromosomal region and recognition after hybridization of the spacers that are present. The workflow beneath this methodology implies that the PCR products are brought onto a membrane containing synthetic oligonucleotides that have complementary sequences to the spacer sequences. Lack of hybridization of the PCR products to a specific oligonucleotide sequence indicates absence of the correspondent spacer sequence in the examined strain. Spoligotyping gained great notoriety as a robust identification and typing tool for members of MTBC, enabling multiple epidemiological studies on human and animal tuberculosis.

  10. Identification and functional study of type III-A CRISPR-Cas systems in clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Cao, Linyan; Gao, Chun-Hui; Zhu, Jiade; Zhao, Liping; Wu, Qingfa; Li, Min; Sun, Baolin

    2016-12-01

    The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats [CRISPR]-CRISPR associated proteins [Cas]) system can provide prokaryote with immunity against invading mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as phages and plasmids, which are the main sources of staphylococcal accessory genes. To date, only a few Staphylococcus aureus strains containing CRISPR-Cas systems have been identified, but no functional study in these strains has been reported. In this study, 6 clinical isolates of S. aureus with type III-A CRISPR-Cas systems were identified, and whole-genome sequencing and functional study were conducted subsequently. Genome sequence analysis revealed a close linkage between the CRISPR-Cas system and the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) element in five strains. Comparative sequence analysis showed that the type III-A repeats are conserved within staphylococci, despite of the decreased conservation in trailer-end repeats. Highly homologous sequences of some spacers were identified in staphylococcal MGEs, and partially complementary sequences of spacers were mostly found in the coding strand of lytic regions in staphylococcal phages. Transformation experiments showed that S. aureus type III-A CRISPR-Cas system can specifically prevent plasmid transfer in a transcription-dependent manner. Base paring between crRNA and target sequence, the endoribonuclease, and the Csm complex were proved to be necessary for type III-A CRISPR-Cas immunity.

  11. [Genotyping by CRISPR and regional distribution of Yersinia pestis in Qinghai-plateau from 1954 to 2011].

    PubMed

    Xu, X Q; Xin, Y Q; Li, X; Zhang, Q W; Yang, X Y; Jin, Y; Zhao, H H; Jin, X; Qi, Z Z

    2017-03-06

    Objective: To investigate the CRISPR genotypes (clusters) and regional distribution of Yersinia pestis in Qinghai-plateau. Methods: One hundred and two isolates of Y. pestis isolated from human plague patients, host animal and insect vectors from Qinghai-plateau were selected. The DNAs were extracted using the traditional sodium dodecyl sulfate decomposition and phenol-chloroform method. Three CRISPR loci YPa, YPb and YPc of 102 isolates of Y. pesits were amplified and sequenced, and then the CRISPR sequence analysis was carried out by comparing the latest published CRISPR spacer dictionary and the NCBI database to identify the spacer and spacer array. CRISPR genotyping of isolates of Y. pesits were finally conducted according to the polymorphism of the spacer arrays and the regional distribution pattern of isolates of Y. pesits in Qinghai-plateau was described. Results: Forty spacers including 22 of YPa, 13 of YPb and 5 of YPc were observed among 102 isolates of Y. pestis in Qinghai-plateau, of which 5 spacers (a1', a103, a104, b4'' and b4''') were firstly identified. Meanwhile, 16, 10, and 5 different spacer arrays were obtained in YPa, YPb and YPc respectively, including 11 new spacer arrays detected in this study. One hundred and two isolates were divided into 24 CRISPR genotypes and classified into 9 CRISPR clusters (Cb4, Cb4', Cb2, Ca37, Ca7, Ca7', CaΔ5', Ca35' and Cc3'). Each dominant cluster presented significant aggregation geographically: Ca7 were found in Yushu, Nangqian, Chenduo, Zaduo, Zhiduo and Qumalai countries. Ca7' were found in Xunhua, Tongren, Zeku, Tongde, Maqin and Guinan countries. CaΔ5' were restricted to Qilian, Gangcha, Menyuan and Datong countries. CaΔ35' were found in Huangyuan, Haiyan, Gangcha, Tianjun, Delingha, Wulan, Doulan, Gonghe, Xinghai, Guide and Tongde countries. Conclusion: CRISPR-based genotyping analyses showed complicated population of Y. pestis in Qinghai-plateau. Four clusters, Ca7, Ca7', CaΔ5' and Ca35' were the most

  12. Integrase-mediated spacer acquisition during CRISPR–Cas adaptive immunity

    PubMed Central

    Nuñez, James K.; Lee, Amy S.Y.; Engelman, Alan; Doudna, Jennifer A.

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria and archaea insert spacer sequences acquired from foreign DNAs into CRISPR loci to generate immunological memory. The Escherichia coli Cas1–Cas2 complex mediates spacer acquisition in vivo, but the molecular mechanism of this process is unknown. Here we show that the purified Cas1–Cas2 complex integrates oligonucleotide DNA substrates into acceptor DNA to yield products similar to those generated by retroviral integrases and transposases. Cas1 is the catalytic subunit, whereas Cas2 substantially increases integration activity. Protospacer DNA with free 3'-OH ends and supercoiled target DNA are required, and integration occurs preferentially at the ends of CRISPR repeats and at sequences adjacent to cruciform structures abutting A-T rich regions, similar to the CRISPR leader sequence. Our results demonstrate the Cas1–Cas2 complex to be the minimal machinery that catalyzes spacer DNA acquisition and explain the significance of CRISPR repeats in providing sequence and structural specificity for Cas1–Cas2-mediated adaptive immunity. PMID:25707795

  13. Harnessing heterologous and endogenous CRISPR-Cas machineries for efficient markerless genome editing in Clostridium

    PubMed Central

    Pyne, Michael E.; Bruder, Mark R.; Moo-Young, Murray; Chung, Duane A.; Chou, C. Perry

    2016-01-01

    Application of CRISPR-Cas9 systems has revolutionized genome editing across all domains of life. Here we report implementation of the heterologous Type II CRISPR-Cas9 system in Clostridium pasteurianum for markerless genome editing. Since 74% of species harbor CRISPR-Cas loci in Clostridium, we also explored the prospect of co-opting host-encoded CRISPR-Cas machinery for genome editing. Motivation for this work was bolstered from the observation that plasmids expressing heterologous cas9 result in poor transformation of Clostridium. To address this barrier and establish proof-of-concept, we focus on characterization and exploitation of the C. pasteurianum Type I-B CRISPR-Cas system. In silico spacer analysis and in vivo interference assays revealed three protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequences required for site-specific nucleolytic attack. Introduction of a synthetic CRISPR array and cpaAIR gene deletion template yielded an editing efficiency of 100%. In contrast, the heterologous Type II CRISPR-Cas9 system generated only 25% of the total yield of edited cells, suggesting that native machinery provides a superior foundation for genome editing by precluding expression of cas9 in trans. To broaden our approach, we also identified putative PAM sequences in three key species of Clostridium. This is the first report of genome editing through harnessing native CRISPR-Cas machinery in Clostridium. PMID:27157668

  14. Harnessing heterologous and endogenous CRISPR-Cas machineries for efficient markerless genome editing in Clostridium.

    PubMed

    Pyne, Michael E; Bruder, Mark R; Moo-Young, Murray; Chung, Duane A; Chou, C Perry

    2016-05-09

    Application of CRISPR-Cas9 systems has revolutionized genome editing across all domains of life. Here we report implementation of the heterologous Type II CRISPR-Cas9 system in Clostridium pasteurianum for markerless genome editing. Since 74% of species harbor CRISPR-Cas loci in Clostridium, we also explored the prospect of co-opting host-encoded CRISPR-Cas machinery for genome editing. Motivation for this work was bolstered from the observation that plasmids expressing heterologous cas9 result in poor transformation of Clostridium. To address this barrier and establish proof-of-concept, we focus on characterization and exploitation of the C. pasteurianum Type I-B CRISPR-Cas system. In silico spacer analysis and in vivo interference assays revealed three protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequences required for site-specific nucleolytic attack. Introduction of a synthetic CRISPR array and cpaAIR gene deletion template yielded an editing efficiency of 100%. In contrast, the heterologous Type II CRISPR-Cas9 system generated only 25% of the total yield of edited cells, suggesting that native machinery provides a superior foundation for genome editing by precluding expression of cas9 in trans. To broaden our approach, we also identified putative PAM sequences in three key species of Clostridium. This is the first report of genome editing through harnessing native CRISPR-Cas machinery in Clostridium.

  15. Investigating CRISPR-Cas systems in Clostridium botulinum via bioinformatics tools.

    PubMed

    Negahdaripour, Manica; Nezafat, Navid; Hajighahramani, Nasim; Rahmatabadi, Seyyed Soheil; Ghasemi, Younes

    2017-10-01

    The Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) systems are a type of innate immunity found in some prokaryotes, which protect them against alien genetic elements by targeting foreign nucleic acids. Some other functions are also attributed to these systems. Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT), one of the deadliest known toxins for humans and some animals. Food poisoning due to these bacteria is still a challenge in food industries. On the other hand, BoNT has been widely investigated for therapeutic applications including different muscle disorders. Bont genes may be located on bacterial chromosomes, plasmids, or even prophages. Generally, the genomes of Cl. botulinum show a high level of plasticity. In order to investigate the presence and characteristics of CRISPRs in these anaerobe bacteria, an in silico study on 113 CRISPR arrays identified in 38 Cl. botulinum strains was performed. A high occurrence of CRISPR arrays (80%) were found, with a remarkable frequency on plasmids. Several (CRISPR-associated) Cas proteins from different types were recognized in the studied strains, which were mostly Cas6. The CRISPR-Cas systems were identified as type I or III, but no type II. The spacers showed more homology with bacterial plasmids than phages. Active CRISPR-Cas systems can prevent the transfer of foreign genes, which may also include bont genes. This study provides the first insight into the probable roles of CRISPR-Cas systems in Cl. botulinum strains such as toxigenicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Crystal orientation dependence of band matching in all-B2-trilayer current-perpendicular-to-plane giant magnetoresistance pseudo spin-valves using Co{sub 2}Fe(Ge{sub 0.5}Ga{sub 0.5}) Heusler alloy and NiAl spacer

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Jiamin; Hono, K.; Furubayashi, T.; Takahashi, Y. K.; Sasaki, T. T.

    2015-05-07

    We have experimentally investigated the crystal orientation dependence of band matching in current-perpendicular-to-plane giant magnetoresistance (CPP-GMR) pseudo-spin-valves using Co{sub 2}Fe(Ge{sub 0.5}Ga{sub 0.5}) (CFGG) Heusler alloy ferromagnetic layer and NiAl spacer. The high quality epitaxial CFGG/NiAl/CFGG all-B2-trilayers structure devices were fabricated on both MgO(001) and sapphire (112{sup ¯}0) single crystal substrates to create (001) and (110) crystal orientations. Same magneto-transport properties were observed from these two differently orientated devices indicating that there is no or little orientation dependence of band matching on MR output. We also found that all-B2-trilayer structure was free of lattice matching influence depending on the crystal orientation, which made it a good candidate for CPP-GMR device.

  17. Broad Targeting Specificity during Bacterial Type III CRISPR-Cas Immunity Constrains Viral Escape.

    PubMed

    Pyenson, Nora C; Gayvert, Kaitlyn; Varble, Andrew; Elemento, Olivier; Marraffini, Luciano A

    2017-09-13

    CRISPR loci are a cluster of repeats separated by short "spacer" sequences derived from prokaryotic viruses and plasmids that determine the targets of the host's CRISPR-Cas immune response against its invaders. For type I and II CRISPR-Cas systems, single-nucleotide mutations in the seed or protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) of the target sequence cause immune failure and allow viral escape. This is overcome by the acquisition of multiple spacers that target the same invader. Here we show that targeting by the Staphylococcus epidermidis type III-A CRISPR-Cas system does not require PAM or seed sequences, and thus prevents viral escape via single-nucleotide substitutions. Instead, viral escapers can only arise through complete target deletion. Our work shows that, as opposed to type I and II systems, the relaxed specificity of type III CRISPR-Cas targeting provides robust immune responses that can lead to viral extinction with a single spacer targeting an essential phage sequence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. CRISPRing into the woods

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Chung-Jui; Xue, Liang-Jiao

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The CRISPR/Cas9 technology is a welcome breakthrough for genome editing, owing to its precision, efficiency, versatility and ease of adoption. We recently reported the first application of CRISPR/Cas9 for biallelic mutations in stably transformed Populus, extending the species range of this powerful technology to woody perennials. An underappreciated obstacle in genome editing of outcrossing species is the frequent occurrence of sequence polymorphisms that can render CRISPR/Cas9 unproductive. We discuss experimental evidence as well as genome-wide computational analysis to demonstrate the sensitivity of CRISPR/Cas9 to allelic heterozygosity, and highlight tools and strategies that can help deal with such sequence polymorphisms. With its specificity, CRISPR/Cas9 offers a less equivocal means than previous approaches for discerning functional redundancy of paralogous genes that are prevalent in plant genomes. Continuing improvements of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for multiplex genome engineering should facilitate these efforts. The paradigm shift brought about by CRISPR/Cas9 promises to accelerate not only basic research but also applied crop improvement progress. PMID:26357840

  19. New CRISPR-Cas systems from uncultivated microbes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burstein, David; Harrington, Lucas B.; Strutt, Steven C.; Probst, Alexander J.; Anantharaman, Karthik; Thomas, Brian C.; Doudna, Jennifer A.; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2017-02-01

    CRISPR-Cas systems provide microbes with adaptive immunity by employing short DNA sequences, termed spacers, that guide Cas proteins to cleave foreign DNA. Class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems are streamlined versions, in which a single RNA-bound Cas protein recognizes and cleaves target sequences. The programmable nature of these minimal systems has enabled researchers to repurpose them into a versatile technology that is broadly revolutionizing biological and clinical research. However, current CRISPR-Cas technologies are based solely on systems from isolated bacteria, leaving the vast majority of enzymes from organisms that have not been cultured untapped. Metagenomics, the sequencing of DNA extracted directly from natural microbial communities, provides access to the genetic material of a huge array of uncultivated organisms. Here, using genome-resolved metagenomics, we identify a number of CRISPR-Cas systems, including the first reported Cas9 in the archaeal domain of life, to our knowledge. This divergent Cas9 protein was found in little-studied nanoarchaea as part of an active CRISPR-Cas system. In bacteria, we discovered two previously unknown systems, CRISPR-CasX and CRISPR-CasY, which are among the most compact systems yet discovered. Notably, all required functional components were identified by metagenomics, enabling validation of robust in vivo RNA-guided DNA interference activity in Escherichia coli. Interrogation of environmental microbial communities combined with in vivo experiments allows us to access an unprecedented diversity of genomes, the content of which will expand the repertoire of microbe-based biotechnologies.

  20. New CRISPR-Cas systems from uncultivated microbes.

    PubMed

    Burstein, David; Harrington, Lucas B; Strutt, Steven C; Probst, Alexander J; Anantharaman, Karthik; Thomas, Brian C; Doudna, Jennifer A; Banfield, Jillian F

    2017-02-09

    CRISPR-Cas systems provide microbes with adaptive immunity by employing short DNA sequences, termed spacers, that guide Cas proteins to cleave foreign DNA. Class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems are streamlined versions, in which a single RNA-bound Cas protein recognizes and cleaves target sequences. The programmable nature of these minimal systems has enabled researchers to repurpose them into a versatile technology that is broadly revolutionizing biological and clinical research. However, current CRISPR-Cas technologies are based solely on systems from isolated bacteria, leaving the vast majority of enzymes from organisms that have not been cultured untapped. Metagenomics, the sequencing of DNA extracted directly from natural microbial communities, provides access to the genetic material of a huge array of uncultivated organisms. Here, using genome-resolved metagenomics, we identify a number of CRISPR-Cas systems, including the first reported Cas9 in the archaeal domain of life, to our knowledge. This divergent Cas9 protein was found in little-studied nanoarchaea as part of an active CRISPR-Cas system. In bacteria, we discovered two previously unknown systems, CRISPR-CasX and CRISPR-CasY, which are among the most compact systems yet discovered. Notably, all required functional components were identified by metagenomics, enabling validation of robust in vivo RNA-guided DNA interference activity in Escherichia coli. Interrogation of environmental microbial communities combined with in vivo experiments allows us to access an unprecedented diversity of genomes, the content of which will expand the repertoire of microbe-based biotechnologies.

  1. Using the CRISPR-Cas System to Positively Select Mutants in Genes Essential for Its Function.

    PubMed

    Yosef, Ido; Goren, Moran G; Edgar, Rotem; Qimron, Udi

    2015-01-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR associated proteins (Cas) comprise a prokaryotic adaptive defense system against foreign nucleic acids. This defense is mediated by Cas proteins, which are guided by sequences flanked by the repeats, called spacers, to target nucleic acids. Spacers designed against the prokaryotic self chromosome are lethal to the prokaryotic cell. This self-killing of the bacterium by its own CRISPR-Cas system can be used to positively select genes that participate in this killing, as their absence will result in viable cells. Here we describe a positive selection assay that uses this feature to identify E. coli mutants encoding an inactive CRISPR-Cas system. The procedure includes establishment of an assay that detects this self-killing, generation of transposon insertion mutants in random genes, and selection of viable mutants, suspected as required for this lethal activity. This procedure enabled us to identify a novel gene, htpG, that is required for the activity of the CRISPR-Cas system. The procedures described here can be adjusted to various organisms to identify genes required for their CRISPR-Cas activity.

  2. Dynamics of CRISPR loci in microevolutionary process of Yersinia pestis strains.

    PubMed

    Barros, Maria Paloma S; França, Camila T; Lins, Rosanny Holanda F B; Santos, Milena Danda V; Silva, Ednaldo J; Oliveira, Maria Betânia M; Silveira-Filho, Vladimir M; Rezende, Antônio M; Balbino, Valdir Q; Leal-Balbino, Tereza Cristina

    2014-01-01

    The potential use of CRISPR loci genotyping to elucidate population dynamics and microevolution of 146 Yersinia pestis strains from different biovars and locations was investigated in this work. The majority of strains from the Orientalis biovar presented specific spacer arrays, allowing for the establishment of a CRISPR signature for their respective isolates. Twenty-one new spacers were found in the Y. pestis strains from plague foci in Brazil. Ninety-three (64%) strains were grouped in the G1 genotype, whereas the others were distributed in 35 genotypes. This study allowed observing a microevolutionary process in a group of Y. pestis isolated from Brazil. We also identified specific genotypes of Y. pestis that were important for the establishment of the bacteria in plague foci in Brazil. The data have provided supporting evidence for the diversity and dynamics of CRISPR loci present in the genome of Y. pestis strains from plague foci in Brazil.

  3. CRISPR: new horizons in phage resistance and strain identification.

    PubMed

    Barrangou, Rodolphe; Horvath, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Bacteria have been widely used as starter cultures in the food industry, notably for the fermentation of milk into dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. Lactic acid bacteria used in food manufacturing, such as lactobacilli, lactococci, streptococci, Leuconostoc, pediococci, and bifidobacteria, are selectively formulated based on functional characteristics that provide idiosyncratic flavor and texture attributes, as well as their ability to withstand processing and manufacturing conditions. Unfortunately, given frequent viral exposure in industrial environments, starter culture selection and development rely on defense systems that provide resistance against bacteriophage predation, including restriction-modification, abortive infection, and recently discovered CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats). CRISPRs, together with CRISPR-associated genes (cas), form the CRISPR/Cas immune system, which provides adaptive immunity against phages and invasive genetic elements. The immunization process is based on the incorporation of short DNA sequences from virulent phages into the CRISPR locus. Subsequently, CRISPR transcripts are processed into small interfering RNAs that guide a multifunctional protein complex to recognize and cleave matching foreign DNA. Hypervariable CRISPR loci provide insights into the phage and host population dynamics, and new avenues for enhanced phage resistance and genetic typing and tagging of industrial strains.

  4. Non-Identity-Mediated CRISPR-Bacteriophage Interaction Mediated via the Csy and Cas3 Proteins ▿#

    PubMed Central

    Cady, Kyle C.; O'Toole, George A.

    2011-01-01

    Studies of the Escherichia, Neisseria, Thermotoga, and Mycobacteria clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) subtypes have resulted in a model whereby CRISPRs function as a defense system against bacteriophage infection and conjugative plasmid transfer. In contrast, we previously showed that the Yersinia-subtype CRISPR region of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain UCBPP-PA14 plays no detectable role in viral immunity but instead is required for bacteriophage DMS3-dependent inhibition of biofilm formation by P. aeruginosa. The goal of this study is to define the components of the Yersinia-subtype CRISPR region required to mediate this bacteriophage-host interaction. We show that the Yersinia-subtype-specific CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins Csy4 and Csy2 are essential for small CRISPR RNA (crRNA) production in vivo, while the Csy1 and Csy3 proteins are not absolutely required for production of these small RNAs. Further, we present evidence that the core Cas protein Cas3 functions downstream of small crRNA production and that this protein requires functional HD (predicted phosphohydrolase) and DEXD/H (predicted helicase) domains to suppress biofilm formation in DMS3 lysogens. We also determined that only spacer 1, which is not identical to any region of the DMS3 genome, mediates the CRISPR-dependent loss of biofilm formation. Our evidence suggests that gene 42 of phage DMS3 (DMS3-42) is targeted by CRISPR2 spacer 1 and that this targeting tolerates multiple point mutations between the spacer and DMS3-42 target sequence. This work demonstrates how the interaction between P. aeruginosa strain UCBPP-PA14 and bacteriophage DMS3 can be used to further our understanding of the diverse roles of CRISPR system function in bacteria. PMID:21398535

  5. Structural plasticity and in vivo activity of Cas1 from the type I-F CRISPR-Cas system.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Max E; Nakatani, Yoshio; Staals, Raymond H J; Kieper, Sebastian N; Opel-Reading, Helen K; McKenzie, Rebecca E; Fineran, Peter C; Krause, Kurt L

    2016-04-15

    CRISPR-Cas systems are adaptive immune systems in prokaryotes that provide protection against viruses and other foreign DNA. In the adaptation stage, foreign DNA is integrated into CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) arrays as new spacers. These spacers are used in the interference stage to guide effector CRISPR associated (Cas) protein(s) to target complementary foreign invading DNA. Cas1 is the integrase enzyme that is central to the catalysis of spacer integration. There are many diverse types of CRISPR-Cas systems, including type I-F systems, which are typified by a unique Cas1-Cas2-3 adaptation complex. In the present study we characterize the Cas1 protein of the potato phytopathogen Pectobacterium atrosepticum, an important model organism for understanding spacer acquisition in type I-F CRISPR-Cas systems. We demonstrate by mutagenesis that Cas1 is essential for adaptation in vivo and requires a conserved aspartic acid residue. By X-ray crystallography, we show that although P. atrosepticum Cas1 adopts a fold conserved among other Cas1 proteins, it possesses remarkable asymmetry as a result of structural plasticity. In particular, we resolve for the first time a flexible, asymmetric loop that may be unique to type I-F Cas1 proteins, and we discuss the implications of these structural features for DNA binding and enzymatic activity.

  6. CRISPR Genome Editing

    Cancer.gov

    A research article about a technique for gene editing known as CRISPR-Cas9. The technique has made it much easier and faster for cancer researchers to study mutations and test new therapeutic targets.

  7. CRISPR-DAV: CRISPR NGS Data Analysis and Visualization Pipeline.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xuning; Tilford, Charles; Neuhaus, Isaac; Mintier, Gabe; Guo, Qi; Feder, John N; Kirov, Stefan

    2017-08-14

    The simplicity and precision of CRISPR/Cas9 system has brought in a new era of gene editing. Screening for desired clones with CRISPR-mediated genomic edits in a large number of samples is made possible by next generation sequencing (NGS) due to its multiplexing. Here we present CRISPR-DAV (CRISPR Data Analysis and Visualization) pipeline to analyze the CRISPR NGS data in a high throughput manner. In the pipeline, BWA and ABRA are used for small and large indel detection, and results are presented in a comprehensive set of charts and interactive alignment view. CRISPR-DAV is available at GitHub and Docker Hub repositories: https://github.com/pinetree1/crispr-dav.git and https://hub.docker.com/r/pinetree1/crispr-dav/ . xuning.wang@bms.com.

  8. Studying the features of 57 confirmed CRISPR loci in 29 strains of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Rahmatabadi, Seyyed Soheil; Nezafat, Navid; Negahdaripour, Manica; Hajighahramani, Nasim; Morowvat, Mohammad Hossein; Ghasemi, Younes

    2016-06-01

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) system is a novel type of innate defense system in prokaryotes for destruction of exogenous elements. To gain further insight into behavior and organization of the system, the extensive analysis of the available sequenced genomes is necessary. The dynamic nature of CRISPR loci is possibly valuable for typing and relative analyses of strains and microbial population. There are a few orderly bioinformatics investigations about the structure of CRISPR sequences in the Escherichia coli strains. In this study, 57 CRISPR loci were selected from 32 Escherichia coli strains to investigate their structural characteristics and potential functions using bioinformatics tools. Our results showed that most strains contained several loci that mainly included conserved direct repeats, while the spacers were highly variable. Moreover, RNA analysis of the sequences indicated that all loci could form stable RNA secondary structures and showed homology mostly with phages compared to plasmids. Only three strains included cas genes around their loci.

  9. Diversity, Evolution, and Functionality of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) Regions in the Fire Blight Pathogen Erwinia amylovora▿†

    PubMed Central

    Rezzonico, Fabio; Smits, Theo H. M.; Duffy, Brion

    2011-01-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas system confers acquired heritable immunity against mobile nucleic acid elements in prokaryotes, limiting phage infection and horizontal gene transfer of plasmids. In CRISPR arrays, characteristic repeats are interspersed with similarly sized nonrepetitive spacers derived from transmissible genetic elements and acquired when the cell is challenged with foreign DNA. New spacers are added sequentially and the number and type of CRISPR units can differ among strains, providing a record of phage/plasmid exposure within a species and giving a valuable typing tool. The aim of this work was to investigate CRISPR diversity in the highly homogeneous species Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight. A total of 18 CRISPR genotypes were defined within a collection of 37 cosmopolitan strains. Strains from Spiraeoideae plants clustered in three major groups: groups II and III were composed exclusively of bacteria originating from the United States, whereas group I generally contained strains of more recent dissemination obtained in Europe, New Zealand, and the Middle East. Strains from Rosoideae and Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica) clustered separately and displayed a higher intrinsic diversity than that of isolates from Spiraeoideae plants. Reciprocal exclusion was generally observed between plasmid content and cognate spacer sequences, supporting the role of the CRISPR/Cas system in protecting against foreign DNA elements. However, in several group III strains, retention of plasmid pEU30 is inconsistent with a functional CRISPR/Cas system. PMID:21460108

  10. [A surveillance study on CRISPR/Cas molecular biomarker in Escherichia coli].

    PubMed

    Liang, W J; Zhang, R G; Duan, G C; Hong, L J; Zhang, B; Xi, Y L; Yang, H Y; Chen, S Y; Lou, T Y; Zhao, Y X

    2016-08-10

    A new method related to molecular biomarker with CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-cas) in Escherichia (E.) coli was developed and used for surveillance programs. CRISPR/Cas sequence that containing 135 strains with complete sequence and 203 strains with whole genome shotgun sequence of E. coli in GenBank by BLAST and 361 strains of E. coli (including 38 strains of E. coli O157∶H7) in laboratory were identified by PCR and analyzed with the CRISPR Finder. Spacers were compared with DANMAN and the phylogenetic trees of cas gene were constructed under Clustal Ⅹ and Mega 5.1. With new perspective, a descriptive method was developed targeting on the position of CRISPR/cas in E. coli. The CRISPR1 was detected in 77.04%, 100.00% and 75.62% and the CRISPR2 was detected in 74.81%, 100.00% and 92.24% and the CRISPR3 and CRISPR4 were detected in 11.85%, 0 and 1.39% for 135 strains with complete sequence, 203 strains with whole genome shotgun sequence and 361 strains in the laboratory, respectively. One strain downloaded in GenBank with whole genome sequencing and 2 strains in the our laboratory were identified that containing four CRISPR locus. The other E. coli strain was with insertion sequence in downstream of the non-cas CRISPR1. The unique CRISPR was found in 8 strains of O55∶H7, in 180 strains of O157∶H7, in 8 strains of O157∶HNM, in 40 strains of O104∶H4, in 4 strains of O145∶H28, in all the 699 E. coli strains. The phylogenetic tree could be divided into two groups-cas with type I-E or type I-F. CRISPR/Cas might be used as a valuable molecular biomarker in epidemiological surveillance studies to identify the high virulent strains or new strains of E. coli. Phage night be related to the missing or obtaining of spacers.

  11. CRISPR Recognition Tool (CRT): a tool for automatic detection ofclustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats

    SciTech Connect

    Bland, Charles; Ramsey, Teresa L.; Sabree, Fareedah; Lowe,Micheal; Brown, Kyndall; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2007-05-01

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) are a novel type of direct repeat found in a wide range of bacteria and archaea. CRISPRs are beginning to attract attention because of their proposed mechanism; that is, defending their hosts against invading extrachromosomal elements such as viruses. Existing repeat detection tools do a poor job of identifying CRISPRs due to the presence of unique spacer sequences separating the repeats. In this study, a new tool, CRT, is introduced that rapidly and accurately identifies CRISPRs in large DNA strings, such as genomes and metagenomes. CRT was compared to CRISPR detection tools, Patscan and Pilercr. In terms of correctness, CRT was shown to be very reliable, demonstrating significant improvements over Patscan for measures precision, recall and quality. When compared to Pilercr, CRT showed improved performance for recall and quality. In terms of speed, CRT also demonstrated superior performance, especially for genomes containing large numbers of repeats. In this paper a new tool was introduced for the automatic detection of CRISPR elements. This tool, CRT, was shown to be a significant improvement over the current techniques for CRISPR identification. CRT's approach to detecting repetitive sequences is straightforward. It uses a simple sequential scan of a DNA sequence and detects repeats directly without any major conversion or preprocessing of the input. This leads to a program that is easy to describe and understand; yet it is very accurate, fast and memory efficient, being O(n) in space and O(nm/l) in time.

  12. The CRISPR-associated DNA-cleaving enzyme Cpf1 also processes precursor CRISPR RNA.

    PubMed

    Fonfara, Ines; Richter, Hagen; Bratovič, Majda; Le Rhun, Anaïs; Charpentier, Emmanuelle

    2016-04-28

    CRISPR-Cas systems that provide defence against mobile genetic elements in bacteria and archaea have evolved a variety of mechanisms to target and cleave RNA or DNA. The well-studied types I, II and III utilize a set of distinct CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins for production of mature CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) and interference with invading nucleic acids. In types I and III, Cas6 or Cas5d cleaves precursor crRNA (pre-crRNA) and the mature crRNAs then guide a complex of Cas proteins (Cascade-Cas3, type I; Csm or Cmr, type III) to target and cleave invading DNA or RNA. In type II systems, RNase III cleaves pre-crRNA base-paired with trans-activating crRNA (tracrRNA) in the presence of Cas9 (refs 13, 14). The mature tracrRNA-crRNA duplex then guides Cas9 to cleave target DNA. Here, we demonstrate a novel mechanism in CRISPR-Cas immunity. We show that type V-A Cpf1 from Francisella novicida is a dual-nuclease that is specific to crRNA biogenesis and target DNA interference. Cpf1 cleaves pre-crRNA upstream of a hairpin structure formed within the CRISPR repeats and thereby generates intermediate crRNAs that are processed further, leading to mature crRNAs. After recognition of a 5'-YTN-3' protospacer adjacent motif on the non-target DNA strand and subsequent probing for an eight-nucleotide seed sequence, Cpf1, guided by the single mature repeat-spacer crRNA, introduces double-stranded breaks in the target DNA to generate a 5' overhang. The RNase and DNase activities of Cpf1 require sequence- and structure-specific binding to the hairpin of crRNA repeats. Cpf1 uses distinct active domains for both nuclease reactions and cleaves nucleic acids in the presence of magnesium or calcium. This study uncovers a new family of enzymes with specific dual endoribonuclease and endonuclease activities, and demonstrates that type V-A constitutes the most minimalistic of the CRISPR-Cas systems so far described.

  13. Adaptation and modification of three CRISPR loci in two closely related cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Hein, Stephanie; Scholz, Ingeborg; Voß, Björn; Hess, Wolfgang R

    2013-05-01

    An RNA-based screen was performed to reveal a possible evolutionary scenario for the CRISPR-Cas systems in two cyanobacterial model strains. Following the analysis of a draft genome sequence of Synechocystis sp PCC6714, three different CRISPR-Cas systems were characterized that have different degrees of relatedness to another three CRISPR-Cas systems in Synechocystis sp PCC6803. A subtype III-B system was identified that is extremely conserved between both strains. Strong signals in northern hybridizations and the presence of different spacers (but identical repeats) indicated this system to be active, despite the absence of a known endonuclease candidate gene involved in the maturation of its crRNAs in the two strains. The other two systems were found to differ significantly from each other, with different sets of repeat-spacer arrays and different Cas genes. In view of the otherwise very close relatedness of the two analyzed strains, this is suggestive of an unknown mechanism involved in the replacement of CRISPR-Cas cassettes as a whole. Further RNA analyses revealed the accumulation of crRNAs to be impacted by environmental conditions critical for photoautotropic growth. All six systems are associated with a gene for a possible transcriptional repressor. Indeed, we identified one of these genes, sll7009, as encoding a negative regulator specific for the CRISPR1 subtype I-D system in Synechocystis sp PCC6803.

  14. A bacteriophage encodes its own CRISPR/Cas adaptive response to evade host innate immunity.

    PubMed

    Seed, Kimberley D; Lazinski, David W; Calderwood, Stephen B; Camilli, Andrew

    2013-02-28

    Bacteriophages (or phages) are the most abundant biological entities on earth, and are estimated to outnumber their bacterial prey by tenfold. The constant threat of phage predation has led to the evolution of a broad range of bacterial immunity mechanisms that in turn result in the evolution of diverse phage immune evasion strategies, leading to a dynamic co-evolutionary arms race. Although bacterial innate immune mechanisms against phage abound, the only documented bacterial adaptive immune system is the CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated proteins) system, which provides sequence-specific protection from invading nucleic acids, including phage. Here we show a remarkable turn of events, in which a phage-encoded CRISPR/Cas system is used to counteract a phage inhibitory chromosomal island of the bacterial host. A successful lytic infection by the phage is dependent on sequence identity between CRISPR spacers and the target chromosomal island. In the absence of such targeting, the phage-encoded CRISPR/Cas system can acquire new spacers to evolve rapidly and ensure effective targeting of the chromosomal island to restore phage replication.

  15. CRISPR-Cas systems preferentially target the leading regions of MOBF conjugative plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Westra, Edze R.; Staals, Raymond H.J.; Gort, Gerrit; Høgh, Søren; Neumann, Sarah; de la Cruz, Fernando; Fineran, Peter C.; Brouns, Stan J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Most prokaryotes contain CRISPR-Cas immune systems that provide protection against mobile genetic elements. We have focused on the ability of CRISPR-Cas to block plasmid conjugation, and analyzed the position of target sequences (protospacers) on conjugative plasmids. The analysis reveals that protospacers are non-uniformly distributed over plasmid regions in a pattern that is determined by the plasmid’s mobilization type (MOB). While MOBP plasmids are most frequently targeted in the region entering the recipient cell last (lagging region), MOBF plasmids are mostly targeted in the region entering the recipient cell first (leading region). To explain this protospacer distribution bias, we propose two mutually non-exclusive hypotheses: (1) spacers are acquired more frequently from either the leading or lagging region depending on the MOB type (2) CRISPR-interference is more efficient when spacers target these preferred regions. To test the latter hypothesis, we analyzed Type I-E CRISPR-interference against MOBF prototype plasmid F in Escherichia coli. Our results show that plasmid conjugation is effectively inhibited, but the level of immunity is not affected by targeting the plasmid in the leading or lagging region. Moreover, CRISPR-immunity levels do not depend on whether the incoming single-stranded plasmid DNA, or the DNA strand synthesized in the recipient is targeted. Our findings indicate that single-stranded DNA may not be a target for Type I-E CRISPR-Cas systems, and suggest that the protospacer distribution bias might be due to spacer acquisition preferences. PMID:23535265

  16. Evolution and classification of the CRISPR-Cas systems

    PubMed Central

    S. Makarova, Kira; H. Haft, Daniel; Barrangou, Rodolphe; J. J. Brouns, Stan; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Horvath, Philippe; Moineau, Sylvain; J. M. Mojica, Francisco; I. Wolf, Yuri; Yakunin, Alexander F.; van der Oost, John; V. Koonin, Eugene

    2012-01-01

    The CRISPR–Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats–CRISPR-associated proteins) modules are adaptive immunity systems that are present in many archaea and bacteria. These defence systems are encoded by operons that have an extraordinarily diverse architecture and a high rate of evolution for both the cas genes and the unique spacer content. Here, we provide an updated analysis of the evolutionary relationships between CRISPR–Cas systems and Cas proteins. Three major types of CRISPR–Cas system are delineated, with a further division into several subtypes and a few chimeric variants. Given the complexity of the genomic architectures and the extremely dynamic evolution of the CRISPR–Cas systems, a unified classification of these systems should be based on multiple criteria. Accordingly, we propose a `polythetic' classification that integrates the phylogenies of the most common cas genes, the sequence and organization of the CRISPR repeats and the architecture of the CRISPR–cas loci. PMID:21552286

  17. Type III CRISPR-Cas systems can provide redundancy to counteract viral escape from type I systems

    PubMed Central

    Silas, Sukrit; Lucas-Elio, Patricia; Jackson, Simon A; Aroca-Crevillén, Alejandra; Hansen, Loren L; Fineran, Peter C

    2017-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas-mediated defense utilizes information stored as spacers in CRISPR arrays to defend against genetic invaders. We define the mode of target interference and role in antiviral defense for two CRISPR-Cas systems in Marinomonas mediterranea. One system (type I-F) targets DNA. A second system (type III-B) is broadly capable of acquiring spacers in either orientation from RNA and DNA, and exhibits transcription-dependent DNA interference. Examining resistance to phages isolated from Mediterranean seagrass meadows, we found that the type III-B machinery co-opts type I-F CRISPR-RNAs. Sequencing and infectivity assessments of related bacterial and phage strains suggests an ‘arms race’ in which phage escape from the type I-F system can be overcome through use of type I-F spacers by a horizontally-acquired type III-B system. We propose that the phage-host arms race can drive selection for horizontal uptake and maintenance of promiscuous type III interference modules that supplement existing host type I CRISPR-Cas systems. PMID:28826484

  18. Type III CRISPR-Cas systems can provide redundancy to counteract viral escape from type I systems.

    PubMed

    Silas, Sukrit; Lucas-Elio, Patricia; Jackson, Simon A; Aroca-Crevillén, Alejandra; Hansen, Loren L; Fineran, Peter C; Fire, Andrew Z; Sánchez-Amat, Antonio

    2017-08-17

    CRISPR-Cas-mediated defense utilizes information stored as spacers in CRISPR arrays to defend against genetic invaders. We define the mode of target interference and role in antiviral defense for two CRISPR-Cas systems in Marinomonas mediterranea. One system (type I-F) targets DNA. A second system (type III-B) is broadly capable of acquiring spacers in either orientation from RNA and DNA, and exhibits transcription-dependent DNA interference. Examining resistance to phages isolated from Mediterranean seagrass meadows, we found that the type III-B machinery co-opts type I-F CRISPR-RNAs. Sequencing and infectivity assessments of related bacterial and phage strains suggests an 'arms race' in which phage escape from the type I-F system can be overcome through use of type I-F spacers by a horizontally-acquired type III-B system. We propose that the phage-host arms race can drive selection for horizontal uptake and maintenance of promiscuous type III interference modules that supplement existing host type I CRISPR-Cas systems.

  19. Pseudo-chaotic oscillations in CRISPR-virus coevolution predicted by bifurcation analysis.

    PubMed

    Berezovskaya, Faina S; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V; Karev, Georgy P

    2014-07-02

    The CRISPR-Cas systems of adaptive antivirus immunity are present in most archaea and many bacteria, and provide resistance to specific viruses or plasmids by inserting fragments of foreign DNA into the host genome and then utilizing transcripts of these spacers to inactivate the cognate foreign genome. The recent development of powerful genome engineering tools on the basis of CRISPR-Cas has sharply increased the interest in the diversity and evolution of these systems. Comparative genomic data indicate that during evolution of prokaryotes CRISPR-Cas loci are lost and acquired via horizontal gene transfer at high rates. Mathematical modeling and initial experimental studies of CRISPR-carrying microbes and viruses reveal complex coevolutionary dynamics. We performed a bifurcation analysis of models of coevolution of viruses and microbial host that possess CRISPR-Cas hereditary adaptive immunity systems. The analyzed Malthusian and logistic models display complex, and in particular, quasi-chaotic oscillation regimes that have not been previously observed experimentally or in agent-based models of the CRISPR-mediated immunity. The key factors for the appearance of the quasi-chaotic oscillations are the non-linear dependence of the host immunity on the virus load and the partitioning of the hosts into the immune and susceptible populations, so that the system consists of three components. Bifurcation analysis of CRISPR-host coevolution model predicts complex regimes including quasi-chaotic oscillations. The quasi-chaotic regimes of virus-host coevolution are likely to be biologically relevant given the evolutionary instability of the CRISPR-Cas loci revealed by comparative genomics. The results of this analysis might have implications beyond the CRISPR-Cas systems, i.e. could describe the behavior of any adaptive immunity system with a heritable component, be it genetic or epigenetic. These predictions are experimentally testable. This manuscript was reviewed by

  20. CRISPR Becomes Clearer.

    PubMed

    Torrance, Andrew W

    2017-09-01

    In this pivotal year for gene editing, the breakthrough molecular system CRISPR-Cas9 has advanced on three fronts. In under seven months, an influential scientific body-the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine-cracked open the door to human germline gene editing, ownership of patents covering CRISPR-Cas9 came into much sharper focus as a result of a dispute between two parties, and experiments showing proof of concept of the most controversial of uses-altering germlines of humans-were revealed as having been successfully performed by a mainstream laboratory. Given the vast spoils that await the patent owners, final results of all patent disputes over CRISPR-Cas9 patents may stretch on for years. Meanwhile, bioethical considerations of CRISPR-Cas9 have also been contentious as the United States and other countries grapple with how best to regulate gene editing. © 2017 The Hastings Center.

  1. Improving Resident Knowledge of Spacers.

    PubMed

    Kilgore, Brian; Al Katranji, Khalid; Woodall, Meredith; Shepherd, Meagan; Flesher, Susan L

    2016-10-01

    Studies show the delivery of inhaled medications is maximized when a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) with a spacer is utilized. Our residents expressed concern with their knowledge of MDIs and spacers. This study was designed to address those concerns. Residents were given a 12-question pre-intervention, self-assessment questionnaire that explored their overall knowledge and comfort in utilizing MDI with spacers. Participants then received educational intervention via multimedia videos and a demonstration of proper use of MDI with spacer. Participants were given the same questionnaire immediately following the education and again 3 months later. Improvement was significant (P < .05) for each element studied as derived from the 12 questions. Improvement remained significant when these variables were assessed in the 3-month follow-up. In this study, we successfully improved the ability of our residents to deliver quality care by improving their knowledge and confidence in utilizing MDIs with spacers. © The Author(s) 2016.

  2. Molecular identification and characterization of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) in a urease-positive thermophilic Campylobacter sp. (UPTC).

    PubMed

    Tasaki, E; Hirayama, J; Tazumi, A; Hayashi, K; Hara, Y; Ueno, H; Moore, J E; Millar, B C; Matsuda, M

    2012-02-01

    Novel clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) locus [7,500 base pairs (bp) in length] occurred in the urease-positive thermophilic Campylobacter (UPTC) Japanese isolate, CF89-12. The 7,500 bp gene loci consisted of the 5'-methylaminomethyl-2-thiouridylate methyltransferase gene, putative (P) CRISPR associated (p-Cas), putative open reading frames, Cas1 and Cas2, leader sequence region (146 bp), 12 CRISPRs consensus sequence repeats (each 36 bp) separated by a non-repetitive unique spacer region of similar length (26-31 bp) and the phosphatidyl glycerophosphatase A gene. When the CRISPRs loci in the UPTC CF89-12 and five C. jejuni isolates were compared with one another, these six isolates contained p-Cas, Cas1 and Cas2 within the loci. Four to 12 CRISPRs consensus sequence repeats separated by a non-repetitive unique spacer region occurred in six isolates and the nucleotide sequences of those repeats gave approximately 92-100% similarity with each other. However, no sequence similarity occurred in the unique spacer regions among these isolates. The putative σ(70) transcriptional promoter and the hypothetical ρ-independent terminator structures for the CRISPRs and Cas were detected. No in vivo transcription of p-Cas, Cas1 and Cas2 was confirmed in the UPTC cells.

  3. CRISPR1 analysis of naturalized surface water and fecal Escherichia coli suggests common origin.

    PubMed

    Tymensen, Lisa D

    2016-06-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) are part of an acquired bacterial immune system that functions as a barrier to exogenous genetic elements. Since naturalized Escherichia coli are likely to encounter different genetic elements in aquatic environments compared to enteric strains, we hypothesized that such differences would be reflected within the hypervariable CRISPR alleles of these two populations. Comparison of CRISPR1 alleles from naturalized and fecal phylogroup B1 E. coli strains revealed that the alleles could be categorized into four major distinct groups (designated G6-G9), and all four allele groups were found among naturalized strains and fecal strains. The distribution of CRIPSR G6 and G8 alleles was similar among strains of both ecotypes, while naturalized strains tended to have CRISPR G7 alleles rather than G9 alleles. Since CRISPR G7 alleles were not specific to naturalized strains, they, however, would not be useful as a marker for identifying naturalized strains. Notably, CRISPR alleles from naturalized and fecal strains also had similar spacer repertoires. This indicates a shared history of encounter with mobile genetic elements and suggests that the two populations were derived from common ancestors.

  4. Interference activity of a minimal Type I CRISPR-Cas system from Shewanella putrefaciens.

    PubMed

    Dwarakanath, Srivatsa; Brenzinger, Susanne; Gleditzsch, Daniel; Plagens, André; Klingl, Andreas; Thormann, Kai; Randau, Lennart

    2015-10-15

    Type I CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems exist in bacterial and archaeal organisms and provide immunity against foreign DNA. The Cas protein content of the DNA interference complexes (termed Cascade) varies between different CRISPR-Cas subtypes. A minimal variant of the Type I-F system was identified in proteobacterial species including Shewanella putrefaciens CN-32. This variant lacks a large subunit (Csy1), Csy2 and Csy3 and contains two unclassified cas genes. The genome of S. putrefaciens CN-32 contains only five Cas proteins (Cas1, Cas3, Cas6f, Cas1821 and Cas1822) and a single CRISPR array with 81 spacers. RNA-Seq analyses revealed the transcription of this array and the maturation of crRNAs (CRISPR RNAs). Interference assays based on plasmid conjugation demonstrated that this CRISPR-Cas system is active in vivo and that activity is dependent on the recognition of the dinucleotide GG PAM (Protospacer Adjacent Motif) sequence and crRNA abundance. The deletion of cas1821 and cas1822 reduced the cellular crRNA pool. Recombinant Cas1821 was shown to form helical filaments bound to RNA molecules, which suggests its role as the Cascade backbone protein. A Cascade complex was isolated which contained multiple Cas1821 copies, Cas1822, Cas6f and mature crRNAs. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  5. Evolutionary conservation of sequence and secondary structures inCRISPR repeats

    SciTech Connect

    Kunin, Victor; Sorek, Rotem; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2006-09-01

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) are a novel class of direct repeats, separated by unique spacer sequences of similar length, that are present in {approx}40% of bacterial and all archaeal genomes analyzed to date. More than 40 gene families, called CRISPR-associated sequences (CAS), appear in conjunction with these repeats and are thought to be involved in the propagation and functioning of CRISPRs. It has been proposed that the CRISPR/CAS system samples, maintains a record of, and inactivates invasive DNA that the cell has encountered, and therefore constitutes a prokaryotic analog of an immune system. Here we analyze CRISPR repeats identified in 195 microbial genomes and show that they can be organized into multiple clusters based on sequence similarity. All individual repeats in any given cluster were inferred to form characteristic RNA secondary structure, ranging from non-existent to pronounced. Stable secondary structures included G:U base pairs and exhibited multiple compensatory base changes in the stem region, indicating evolutionary conservation and functional importance. We also show that the repeat-based classification corresponds to, and expands upon, a previously reported CAS gene-based classification including specific relationships between CRISPR and CAS subtypes.

  6. Progress of application and off-target effects of CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zheng; Feng, Gu

    2015-10-01

    The clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeat/Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system mediates genome editing and is revolutionizing genetic researches. Scientists are able to manipulate the gene of interest from any organism with CRISPR/Cas9. Compared with zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) technologies, the CRISPR/Cas9 technology provides an easy and efficient approach to manipulate the genome. In this system, sgRNA (Single guide RNA), a short RNA matching the targeted DNA fragment, guides the CRISPR/Cas9 to interrogate the genome. Because sgRNA can tolerate certain mismatches to the DNA targets and thereby promote undesired off-target mutagenesis, the key limit of this technology is off-target effects. To eliminate the off-target effects, different strategies have been adopted. In this review, we summarize the application of CRISPR/Cas9 and different strategies for addressing off-target effects.

  7. Regulated CRISPR Modules Exploit a Dual Defense Strategy of Restriction and Abortive Infection in a Model of Prokaryote-Phage Coevolution

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, M. Senthil; Plotkin, Joshua B.; Hannenhalli, Sridhar

    2015-01-01

    CRISPRs offer adaptive immunity in prokaryotes by acquiring genomic fragments from infecting phage and subsequently exploiting them for phage restriction via an RNAi-like mechanism. Here, we develop and analyze a dynamical model of CRISPR-mediated prokaryote-phage coevolution that incorporates classical CRISPR kinetics along with the recently discovered infection-induced activation and autoimmunity side effects. Our analyses reveal two striking characteristics of the CRISPR defense strategy: that both restriction and abortive infections operate during coevolution with phages, driving phages to much lower densities than possible with restriction alone, and that CRISPR maintenance is determined by a key dimensionless combination of parameters, which upper bounds the activation level of CRISPRs in uninfected populations. We contrast these qualitative observations with experimental data on CRISPR kinetics, which offer insight into the spacer deletion mechanism and the observed low CRISPR prevalence in clinical isolates. More generally, we exploit numerical simulations to delineate four regimes of CRISPR dynamics in terms of its host, kinetic, and regulatory parameters. PMID:26544847

  8. Cas9 specifies functional viral targets during CRISPR-Cas adaptation.

    PubMed

    Heler, Robert; Samai, Poulami; Modell, Joshua W; Weiner, Catherine; Goldberg, Gregory W; Bikard, David; Marraffini, Luciano A

    2015-03-12

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci and their associated (Cas) proteins provide adaptive immunity against viral infection in prokaryotes. Upon infection, short phage sequences known as spacers integrate between CRISPR repeats and are transcribed into small RNA molecules that guide the Cas9 nuclease to the viral targets (protospacers). Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 cleavage of the viral genome requires the presence of a 5'-NGG-3' protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence immediately downstream of the viral target. It is not known whether and how viral sequences flanked by the correct PAM are chosen as new spacers. Here we show that Cas9 selects functional spacers by recognizing their PAM during spacer acquisition. The replacement of cas9 with alleles that lack the PAM recognition motif or recognize an NGGNG PAM eliminated or changed PAM specificity during spacer acquisition, respectively. Cas9 associates with other proteins of the acquisition machinery (Cas1, Cas2 and Csn2), presumably to provide PAM-specificity to this process. These results establish a new function for Cas9 in the genesis of prokaryotic immunological memory.

  9. CRISPR Typing and Subtyping for Improved Laboratory Surveillance of Salmonella Infections

    PubMed Central

    Fabre, Laëtitia; Zhang, Jian; Guigon, Ghislaine; Le Hello, Simon; Guibert, Véronique; Accou-Demartin, Marie; de Romans, Saïana; Lim, Catherine; Roux, Chrystelle; Passet, Virginie; Diancourt, Laure; Guibourdenche, Martine; Issenhuth-Jeanjean, Sylvie; Achtman, Mark; Brisse, Sylvain; Sola, Christophe; Weill, François-Xavier

    2012-01-01

    Laboratory surveillance systems for salmonellosis should ideally be based on the rapid serotyping and subtyping of isolates. However, current typing methods are limited in both speed and precision. Using 783 strains and isolates belonging to 130 serotypes, we show here that a new family of DNA repeats named CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is highly polymorphic in Salmonella. We found that CRISPR polymorphism was strongly correlated with both serotype and multilocus sequence type. Furthermore, spacer microevolution discriminated between subtypes within prevalent serotypes, making it possible to carry out typing and subtyping in a single step. We developed a high-throughput subtyping assay for the most prevalent serotype, Typhimurium. An open web-accessible database was set up, providing a serotype/spacer dictionary and an international tool for strain tracking based on this innovative, powerful typing and subtyping tool. PMID:22623967

  10. Differential Distribution of Type II CRISPR-Cas Systems in Agricultural and Nonagricultural Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter jejuni Isolates Correlates with Lack of Shared Environments.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Bruce M; Louwen, Rogier; van Baarlen, Peter; van Vliet, Arnoud H M

    2015-09-02

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems are sequence-specific adaptive defenses against phages and plasmids which are widespread in prokaryotes. Here we have studied whether phylogenetic relatedness or sharing of environmental niches affects the distribution and dissemination of Type II CRISPR-Cas systems, first in 132 bacterial genomes from 15 phylogenetic classes, ranging from Proteobacteria to Actinobacteria. There was clustering of distinct Type II CRISPR-Cas systems in phylogenetically distinct genera with varying G+C%, which share environmental niches. The distribution of CRISPR-Cas within a genus was studied using a large collection of genome sequences of the closely related Campylobacter species Campylobacter jejuni (N = 3,746) and Campylobacter coli (N = 486). The Cas gene cas9 and CRISPR-repeat are almost universally present in C. jejuni genomes (98.0% positive) but relatively rare in C. coli genomes (9.6% positive). Campylobacter jejuni and agricultural C. coli isolates share the C. jejuni CRISPR-Cas system, which is closely related to, but distinct from the C. coli CRISPR-Cas system found in C. coli isolates from nonagricultural sources. Analysis of the genomic position of CRISPR-Cas insertion suggests that the C. jejuni-type CRISPR-Cas has been transferred to agricultural C. coli. Conversely, the absence of the C. coli-type CRISPR-Cas in agricultural C. coli isolates may be due to these isolates not sharing the same environmental niche, and may be affected by farm hygiene and biosecurity practices in the agricultural sector. Finally, many CRISPR spacer alleles were linked with specific multilocus sequence types, suggesting that these can assist molecular epidemiology applications for C. jejuni and C. coli. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  11. Differential Distribution of Type II CRISPR-Cas Systems in Agricultural and Nonagricultural Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter jejuni Isolates Correlates with Lack of Shared Environments

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Bruce M.; Louwen, Rogier; van Baarlen, Peter; van Vliet, Arnoud H.M.

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems are sequence-specific adaptive defenses against phages and plasmids which are widespread in prokaryotes. Here we have studied whether phylogenetic relatedness or sharing of environmental niches affects the distribution and dissemination of Type II CRISPR-Cas systems, first in 132 bacterial genomes from 15 phylogenetic classes, ranging from Proteobacteria to Actinobacteria. There was clustering of distinct Type II CRISPR-Cas systems in phylogenetically distinct genera with varying G+C%, which share environmental niches. The distribution of CRISPR-Cas within a genus was studied using a large collection of genome sequences of the closely related Campylobacter species Campylobacter jejuni (N = 3,746) and Campylobacter coli (N = 486). The Cas gene cas9 and CRISPR-repeat are almost universally present in C. jejuni genomes (98.0% positive) but relatively rare in C. coli genomes (9.6% positive). Campylobacter jejuni and agricultural C. coli isolates share the C. jejuni CRISPR-Cas system, which is closely related to, but distinct from the C. coli CRISPR-Cas system found in C. coli isolates from nonagricultural sources. Analysis of the genomic position of CRISPR-Cas insertion suggests that the C. jejuni-type CRISPR-Cas has been transferred to agricultural C. coli. Conversely, the absence of the C. coli-type CRISPR-Cas in agricultural C. coli isolates may be due to these isolates not sharing the same environmental niche, and may be affected by farm hygiene and biosecurity practices in the agricultural sector. Finally, many CRISPR spacer alleles were linked with specific multilocus sequence types, suggesting that these can assist molecular epidemiology applications for C. jejuni and C. coli. PMID:26338188

  12. Foreign DNA capture during CRISPR-Cas adaptive immunity.

    PubMed

    Nuñez, James K; Harrington, Lucas B; Kranzusch, Philip J; Engelman, Alan N; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2015-11-26

    Bacteria and archaea generate adaptive immunity against phages and plasmids by integrating foreign DNA of specific 30-40-base-pair lengths into clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci as spacer segments. The universally conserved Cas1-Cas2 integrase complex catalyses spacer acquisition using a direct nucleophilic integration mechanism similar to retroviral integrases and transposases. How the Cas1-Cas2 complex selects foreign DNA substrates for integration remains unknown. Here we present X-ray crystal structures of the Escherichia coli Cas1-Cas2 complex bound to cognate 33-nucleotide protospacer DNA substrates. The protein complex creates a curved binding surface spanning the length of the DNA and splays the ends of the protospacer to allow each terminal nucleophilic 3'-OH to enter a channel leading into the Cas1 active sites. Phosphodiester backbone interactions between the protospacer and the proteins explain the sequence-nonspecific substrate selection observed in vivo. Our results uncover the structural basis for foreign DNA capture and the mechanism by which Cas1-Cas2 functions as a molecular ruler to dictate the sequence architecture of CRISPR loci.

  13. Double-stranded Endonuclease Activity in Bacillus halodurans Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-associated Cas2 Protein*

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Ki Hyun; Ding, Fran; Haitjema, Charles; Huang, Qingqiu; DeLisa, Matthew P.; Ke, Ailong

    2012-01-01

    The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) system is a prokaryotic RNA-based adaptive immune system against extrachromosomal genetic elements. Cas2 is a universally conserved core CRISPR-associated protein required for the acquisition of new spacers for CRISPR adaptation. It was previously characterized as an endoribonuclease with preference for single-stranded (ss)RNA. Here, we show using crystallography, mutagenesis, and isothermal titration calorimetry that the Bacillus halodurans Cas2 (Bha_Cas2) from the subtype I-C/Dvulg CRISPR instead possesses metal-dependent endonuclease activity against double-stranded (ds)DNA. This activity is consistent with its putative function in producing new spacers for insertion into the 5′-end of the CRISPR locus. Mutagenesis and isothermal titration calorimetry studies revealed that a single divalent metal ion (Mg2+ or Mn2+), coordinated by a symmetric Asp pair in the Bha_Cas2 dimer, is involved in the catalysis. We envision that a pH-dependent conformational change switches Cas2 into a metal-binding competent conformation for catalysis. We further propose that the distinct substrate preferences among Cas2 proteins may be determined by the sequence and structure in the β1–α1 loop. PMID:22942283

  14. Double-stranded endonuclease activity in Bacillus halodurans clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated Cas2 protein.

    PubMed

    Nam, Ki Hyun; Ding, Fran; Haitjema, Charles; Huang, Qingqiu; DeLisa, Matthew P; Ke, Ailong

    2012-10-19

    The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) system is a prokaryotic RNA-based adaptive immune system against extrachromosomal genetic elements. Cas2 is a universally conserved core CRISPR-associated protein required for the acquisition of new spacers for CRISPR adaptation. It was previously characterized as an endoribonuclease with preference for single-stranded (ss)RNA. Here, we show using crystallography, mutagenesis, and isothermal titration calorimetry that the Bacillus halodurans Cas2 (Bha_Cas2) from the subtype I-C/Dvulg CRISPR instead possesses metal-dependent endonuclease activity against double-stranded (ds)DNA. This activity is consistent with its putative function in producing new spacers for insertion into the 5'-end of the CRISPR locus. Mutagenesis and isothermal titration calorimetry studies revealed that a single divalent metal ion (Mg(2+) or Mn(2+)), coordinated by a symmetric Asp pair in the Bha_Cas2 dimer, is involved in the catalysis. We envision that a pH-dependent conformational change switches Cas2 into a metal-binding competent conformation for catalysis. We further propose that the distinct substrate preferences among Cas2 proteins may be determined by the sequence and structure in the β1-α1 loop.

  15. H-NS-mediated repression of CRISPR-based immunity in Escherichia coli K12 can be relieved by the transcription activator LeuO.

    PubMed

    Westra, Edze R; Pul, Umit; Heidrich, Nadja; Jore, Matthijs M; Lundgren, Magnus; Stratmann, Thomas; Wurm, Reinhild; Raine, Amanda; Mescher, Melina; Van Heereveld, Luc; Mastop, Marieke; Wagner, E Gerhart H; Schnetz, Karin; Van Der Oost, John; Wagner, Rolf; Brouns, Stan J J

    2010-09-01

    The recently discovered prokaryotic CRISPR/Cas defence system provides immunity against viral infections and plasmid conjugation. It has been demonstrated that in Escherichia coli transcription of the Cascade genes (casABCDE) and to some extent the CRISPR array is repressed by heat-stable nucleoid-structuring (H-NS) protein, a global transcriptional repressor. Here we elaborate on the control of the E. coli CRISPR/Cas system, and study the effect on CRISPR-based anti-viral immunity. Transformation of wild-type E. coli K12 with CRISPR spacers that are complementary to phage Lambda does not lead to detectable protection against Lambda infection. However, when an H-NS mutant of E. coli K12 is transformed with the same anti-Lambda CRISPR, this does result in reduced sensitivity to phage infection. In addition, it is demonstrated that LeuO, a LysR-type transcription factor, binds to two sites flanking the casA promoter and the H-NS nucleation site, resulting in derepression of casABCDE12 transcription. Overexpression of LeuO in E. coli K12 containing an anti-Lambda CRISPR leads to an enhanced protection against phage infection. This study demonstrates that in E. coli H-NS and LeuO are antagonistic regulators of CRISPR-based immunity.

  16. The Cas6e ribonuclease is not required for interference and adaptation by the E. coli type I-E CRISPR-Cas system

    PubMed Central

    Semenova, Ekaterina; Kuznedelov, Konstantin; Datsenko, Kirill A.; Boudry, Pierre M.; Savitskaya, Ekaterina E.; Medvedeva, Sofia; Beloglazova, Natalia; Logacheva, Maria; Yakunin, Alexander F.; Severinov, Konstantin

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas are small RNA-based adaptive prokaryotic immunity systems protecting cells from foreign DNA or RNA. Type I CRISPR-Cas systems are composed of a multiprotein complex (Cascade) that, when bound to CRISPR RNA (crRNA), can recognize double-stranded DNA targets and recruit the Cas3 nuclease to destroy target-containing DNA. In the Escherichia coli type I-E CRISPR-Cas system, crRNAs are generated upon transcription of CRISPR arrays consisting of multiple palindromic repeats and intervening spacers through the function of Cas6e endoribonuclease, which cleaves at specific positions of repeat sequences of the CRISPR array transcript. Cas6e is also a component of Cascade. Here, we show that when mature unit-sized crRNAs are provided in a Cas6e-independent manner by transcription termination, the CRISPR-Cas system can function without Cas6e. The results should allow facile interrogation of various targets by type I-E CRISPR-Cas system in E. coli using unit-sized crRNAs generated by transcription. PMID:26013814

  17. Development of a novel molecular detection method for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) in Taylorella organisms.

    PubMed

    Hara, Yasushi; Nakajima, Takuya; Akamatsu, Marie; Yahiro, Motoki; Kagawa, Shizuko; Petry, Sandrine; Matsuda, Motoo; Moore, John E

    2015-07-01

    Contagious equine metritis is a bacterial infectious disease of horses caused by Taylorella equigenitalis, a Gram-negative eubacterium. The disease has been described in several continents, including Europe, North America and Asia. A novel molecular method was developed to detect clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs), which were separated by non-repetitive unique spacer regions (NRUSRs) of similar length, in the Taylorella equigenitalis EQ59 strain using a primer pair, f-/r-TeCRISPR-ladder, by PCR amplification. In total, 31 Taylorella isolates (17 T. equigenitalis and 14 Taylorella asinigenitalis) were examined. The T. equigenitalis isolates came from thoroughbred and cold-blooded horses from nine countries during 1980-1996, whilst the T. asinigenitalis isolates all originated from donkey jacks in France and the USA during 1997-2006. PAGE fractionated all of the 13 CRISPRs separated by 12 NRUSRs in T. equigenitalis EQ59. Permutation examples of CRISPRs, which were separated by NRUSRs for small-sized ladders, consisting of two doublet bands were shown. Putative CRISPRs separated by NRUSRs were amplified with 14/17 (82.4 %) geographically disparate T. equigenitalis isolates using the newly designed primer pair. Approximately 82.4 % of the T. equigenitalis isolates had CRISPRs separated by NRUSRs. The CRISPR locus was also found in the French T. asinigenitalis strain MCE3. Putative CRISPRs separated by NRUSRs were detected similarly in 4/14 (28.6 %) T. asinigenitalis isolates. Overall, a more detailed understanding of the molecular biology of CRISPRs within Taylorella organisms may help elucidate the pathogenic virulence and transmission mechanisms associated with this important equine pathogen.

  18. Knowledge-based discovery for designing CRISPR-CAS systems against invading mobilomes in thermophiles.

    PubMed

    Chellapandi, P; Ranjani, J

    2015-09-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) are direct features of the prokaryotic genomes involved in resistance to their bacterial viruses and phages. Herein, we have identified CRISPR loci together with CRISPR-associated sequences (CAS) genes to reveal their immunity against genome invaders in the thermophilic archaea and bacteria. Genomic survey of this study implied that genomic distribution of CRISPR-CAS systems was varied from strain to strain, which was determined by the degree of invading mobiloms. Direct repeats found to be equal in some extent in many thermopiles, but their spacers were differed in each strain. Phylogenetic analyses of CAS superfamily revealed that genes cmr, csh, csx11, HD domain, devR were belonged to the subtypes of cas gene family. The members in cas gene family of thermophiles were functionally diverged within closely related genomes and may contribute to develop several defense strategies. Nevertheless, genome dynamics, geological variation and host defense mechanism were contributed to share their molecular functions across the thermophiles. A thermophilic archaean, Thermococcus gammotolerans and thermophilic bacteria, Petrotoga mobilis and Thermotoga lettingae have shown superoperons-like appearance to cluster cas genes, which were typically evolved for their defense pathways. A cmr operon was identified with a specific promoter in a thermophilic archaean, Caldivirga maquilingensis. Overall, we concluded that knowledge-based genomic survey and phylogeny-based functional assignment have suggested for designing a reliable genetic regulatory circuit naturally from CRISPR-CAS systems, acquired defense pathways, to thermophiles in future synthetic biology.

  19. First indication for a functional CRISPR/Cas system in Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Schunder, Eva; Rydzewski, Kerstin; Grunow, Roland; Heuner, Klaus

    2013-03-01

    Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic agent and the subspecies novicida is proposed to be a water-associated bacterium. The intracellular pathogen F. tularensis causes tularemia in humans and is known for its potential to be used as a biological threat. We analyzed the genome sequence of F. tularensis subsp. novicida U112 in silico for the presence of a putative functional CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated) system. CRISPR/Cas systems are known to encode an RNA-guided adaptive immunity-like system to protect bacteria against invading genetic elements like bacteriophages and plasmids. In this work, we present a first indication that F. tularensis subsp. novicida encodes a functional CRISPR/Cas defence system. Additionally, we identified various spacer DNAs homologous to a putative phage present within the genome of F. tularensis subsp. novicida-like strain 3523. CRISPR/Cas is also present in F. tularensis subsp. tularensis, holarctica, and mediasiatica, but these systems seem to be non-functional.

  20. The evolutionary history and diagnostic utility of the CRISPR-Cas system within Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica

    PubMed Central

    Timme, Ruth E.; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Toro, Magaly; Allard, Marc W.; Strain, Errol; Musser, Steven M.; Brown, Eric W.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary studies of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and their associated (cas) genes can provide insights into host-pathogen co-evolutionary dynamics and the frequency at which different genomic events (e.g., horizontal vs. vertical transmission) occur. Within this study, we used whole genome sequence (WGS) data to determine the evolutionary history and genetic diversity of CRISPR loci and cas genes among a diverse set of 427 Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica isolates representing 64 different serovars. We also evaluated the performance of CRISPR loci for typing when compared to whole genome and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approaches. We found that there was high diversity in array length within both CRISPR1 (median = 22; min = 3; max = 79) and CRISPR2 (median = 27; min = 2; max = 221). There was also much diversity within serovars (e.g., arrays differed by as many as 50 repeat-spacer units among Salmonella ser. Senftenberg isolates). Interestingly, we found that there are two general cas gene profiles that do not track phylogenetic relationships, which suggests that non-vertical transmission events have occurred frequently throughout the evolutionary history of the sampled isolates. There is also considerable variation among the ranges of pairwise distances estimated within each cas gene, which may be indicative of the strength of natural selection acting on those genes. We developed a novel clustering approach based on CRISPR spacer content, but found that typing based on CRISPRs was less accurate than the MLST-based alternative; typing based on WGS data was the most accurate. Notwithstanding cost and accessibility, we anticipate that draft genome sequencing, due to its greater discriminatory power, will eventually become routine for traceback investigations. PMID:24765574

  1. Conserved DNA motifs in the type II-A CRISPR leader region

    PubMed Central

    Babu, Kesavan; Najar, Fares Z.

    2017-01-01

    The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats associated (CRISPR-Cas) systems consist of RNA-protein complexes that provide bacteria and archaea with sequence-specific immunity against bacteriophages, plasmids, and other mobile genetic elements. Bacteria and archaea become immune to phage or plasmid infections by inserting short pieces of the intruder DNA (spacer) site-specifically into the leader-repeat junction in a process called adaptation. Previous studies have shown that parts of the leader region, especially the 3′ end of the leader, are indispensable for adaptation. However, a comprehensive analysis of leader ends remains absent. Here, we have analyzed the leader, repeat, and Cas proteins from 167 type II-A CRISPR loci. Our results indicate two distinct conserved DNA motifs at the 3′ leader end: ATTTGAG (noted previously in the CRISPR1 locus of Streptococcus thermophilus DGCC7710) and a newly defined CTRCGAG, associated with the CRISPR3 locus of S. thermophilus DGCC7710. A third group with a very short CG DNA conservation at the 3′ leader end is observed mostly in lactobacilli. Analysis of the repeats and Cas proteins revealed clustering of these CRISPR components that mirrors the leader motif clustering, in agreement with the coevolution of CRISPR-Cas components. Based on our analysis of the type II-A CRISPR loci, we implicate leader end sequences that could confer site-specificity for the adaptation-machinery in the different subsets of type II-A CRISPR loci. PMID:28392985

  2. CRISPR-Cas: evolution of an RNA-based adaptive immunity system in prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Makarova, Kira S

    2013-05-01

    The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, CRISPR-associated genes) is an adaptive immunity system in bacteria and archaea that functions via a distinct self-non-self recognition mechanism that is partially analogous to the mechanism of eukaryotic RNA interference (RNAi). The CRISPR-Cas system incorporates fragments of virus or plasmid DNA into the CRISPR repeat cassettes and employs the processed transcripts of these spacers as guide RNAs to cleave the cognate foreign DNA or RNA. The Cas proteins, however, are not homologous to the proteins involved in RNAi and comprise numerous, highly diverged families. The majority of the Cas proteins contain diverse variants of the RNA recognition motif (RRM), a widespread RNA-binding domain. Despite the fast evolution that is typical of the cas genes, the presence of diverse versions of the RRM in most Cas proteins provides for a simple scenario for the evolution of the three distinct types of CRISPR-cas systems. In addition to several proteins that are directly implicated in the immune response, the cas genes encode a variety of proteins that are homologous to prokaryotic toxins that typically possess nuclease activity. The predicted toxins associated with CRISPR-Cas systems include the essential Cas2 protein, proteins of COG1517 that, in addition to a ligand-binding domain and a helix-turn-helix domain, typically contain different nuclease domains and several other predicted nucleases. The tight association of the CRISPR-Cas immunity systems with predicted toxins that, upon activation, would induce dormancy or cell death suggests that adaptive immunity and dormancy/suicide response are functionally coupled. Such coupling could manifest in the persistence state being induced and potentially providing conditions for more effective action of the immune system or in cell death being triggered when immunity fails.

  3. CRISPR RNA binding and DNA target recognition by purified Cascade complexes from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Beloglazova, Natalia; Kuznedelov, Konstantin; Flick, Robert; Datsenko, Kirill A; Brown, Greg; Popovic, Ana; Lemak, Sofia; Semenova, Ekaterina; Severinov, Konstantin; Yakunin, Alexander F

    2015-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and their associated Cas proteins comprise a prokaryotic RNA-guided adaptive immune system that interferes with mobile genetic elements, such as plasmids and phages. The type I-E CRISPR interference complex Cascade from Escherichia coli is composed of five different Cas proteins and a 61-nt-long guide RNA (crRNA). crRNAs contain a unique 32-nt spacer flanked by a repeat-derived 5' handle (8 nt) and a 3' handle (21 nt). The spacer part of crRNA directs Cascade to DNA targets. Here, we show that the E. coli Cascade can be expressed and purified from cells lacking crRNAs and loaded in vitro with synthetic crRNAs, which direct it to targets complementary to crRNA spacer. The deletion of even one nucleotide from the crRNA 5' handle disrupted its binding to Cascade and target DNA recognition. In contrast, crRNA variants with just a single nucleotide downstream of the spacer part bound Cascade and the resulting ribonucleotide complex containing a 41-nt-long crRNA specifically recognized DNA targets. Thus, the E. coli Cascade-crRNA system exhibits significant flexibility suggesting that this complex can be engineered for applications in genome editing and opening the way for incorporation of site-specific labels in crRNA.

  4. Phage mutations in response to CRISPR diversification in a bacterial population.

    PubMed

    Sun, Christine L; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Thomas, Brian C; Horvath, Philippe; Fremaux, Christophe; Banfield, Jillian F

    2013-02-01

    Interactions between bacteria and their coexisting phage populations impact evolution and can strongly influence biogeochemical processes in natural ecosystems. Periodically, mutation or migration results in exposure of a host to a phage to which it has no immunity; alternatively, a phage may be exposed to a host it cannot infect. To explore the processes by which coexisting, co-evolving hosts and phage populations establish, we cultured Streptococcus thermophilus DGCC7710 with phage 2972 and tracked CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) diversification and host-phage co-evolution in a population derived from a colony that acquired initial CRISPR-encoded immunity. After 1 week of co-culturing, the coexisting host-phage populations were metagenomically characterized using 454 FLX Titanium sequencing. The evolved genomes were compared with reference genomes to identify newly incorporated spacers in S. thermophilus DGCC7710 and recently acquired single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in phage 2972. Following phage exposure, acquisition of immune elements (spacers) led to a genetically diverse population with multiple subdominant strain lineages. Phage mutations that circumvented three early immunization events were localized in the proto-spacer adjacent motif (PAM) or near the PAM end of the proto-spacer, suggesting a strong selective advantage for the phage that mutated in this region. The sequential fixation or near fixation of these single mutations indicates selection events so severe that single phage genotypes ultimately gave rise to all surviving lineages and potentially carried traits unrelated to immunity to fixation.

  5. CRISPR/Cas9 for genome editing: progress, implications and challenges.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Feng; Wen, Yan; Guo, Xiong

    2014-09-15

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein 9 system provides a robust and multiplexable genome editing tool, enabling researchers to precisely manipulate specific genomic elements, and facilitating the elucidation of target gene function in biology and diseases. CRISPR/Cas9 comprises of a nonspecific Cas9 nuclease and a set of programmable sequence-specific CRISPR RNA (crRNA), which can guide Cas9 to cleave DNA and generate double-strand breaks at target sites. Subsequent cellular DNA repair process leads to desired insertions, deletions or substitutions at target sites. The specificity of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage requires target sequences matching crRNA and a protospacer adjacent motif locating at downstream of target sequences. Here, we review the molecular mechanism, applications and challenges of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing and clinical therapeutic potential of CRISPR/Cas9 in future. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Genome editing assessment using CRISPR Genome Analyzer (CRISPR-GA).

    PubMed

    Güell, Marc; Yang, Luhan; Church, George M

    2014-10-15

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based technologies have revolutionized human genome engineering and opened countless possibilities to basic science, synthetic biology and gene therapy. Albeit the enormous potential of these tools, their performance is far from perfect. It is essential to perform a posterior careful analysis of the gene editing experiment. However, there are no computational tools for genome editing assessment yet, and current experimental tools lack sensitivity and flexibility. We present a platform to assess the quality of a genome editing experiment only with three mouse clicks. The method evaluates next-generation data to quantify and characterize insertions, deletions and homologous recombination. CRISPR Genome Analyzer provides a report for the locus selected, which includes a quantification of the edited site and the analysis of the different alterations detected. The platform maps the reads, estimates and locates insertions and deletions, computes the allele replacement efficiency and provides a report integrating all the information. CRISPR-GA Web is available at http://crispr-ga.net. Documentation on CRISPR-GA instructions can be found at http://crispr-ga.net/documentation.html mguell@genetics.med.harvard.edu. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. DNA motifs determining the accuracy of repeat duplication during CRISPR adaptation in Haloarcula hispanica

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui; Li, Ming; Gong, Luyao; Hu, Songnian; Xiang, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) acquire new spacers to generate adaptive immunity in prokaryotes. During spacer integration, the leader-preceded repeat is always accurately duplicated, leading to speculations of a repeat-length ruler. Here in Haloarcula hispanica, we demonstrate that the accurate duplication of its 30-bp repeat requires two conserved mid-repeat motifs, AACCC and GTGGG. The AACCC motif was essential and needed to be ∼10 bp downstream from the leader-repeat junction site, where duplication consistently started. Interestingly, repeat duplication terminated sequence-independently and usually with a specific distance from the GTGGG motif, which seemingly served as an anchor site for a molecular ruler. Accordingly, altering the spacing between the two motifs led to an aberrant duplication size (29, 31, 32 or 33 bp). We propose the adaptation complex may recognize these mid-repeat elements to enable measuring the repeat DNA for spacer integration. PMID:27085805

  8. The Heroes of CRISPR.

    PubMed

    Lander, Eric S

    2016-01-14

    Three years ago, scientists reported that CRISPR technology can enable precise and efficient genome editing in living eukaryotic cells. Since then, the method has taken the scientific community by storm, with thousands of labs using it for applications from biomedicine to agriculture. Yet, the preceding 20-year journey--the discovery of a strange microbial repeat sequence; its recognition as an adaptive immune system; its biological characterization; and its repurposing for genome engineering--remains little known. This Perspective aims to fill in this backstory--the history of ideas and the stories of pioneers--and draw lessons about the remarkable ecosystem underlying scientific discovery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Generator stator core vent duct spacer posts

    DOEpatents

    Griffith, John Wesley; Tong, Wei

    2003-06-24

    Generator stator cores are constructed by stacking many layers of magnetic laminations. Ventilation ducts may be inserted between these layers by inserting spacers into the core stack. The ventilation ducts allow for the passage of cooling gas through the core during operation. The spacers or spacer posts are positioned between groups of the magnetic laminations to define the ventilation ducts. The spacer posts are secured with longitudinal axes thereof substantially parallel to the core axis. With this structure, core tightness can be assured while maximizing ventilation duct cross section for gas flow and minimizing magnetic loss in the spacers.

  10. Spacer grid assembly and locking mechanism

    DOEpatents

    Snyder, Jr., Harold J.; Veca, Anthony R.; Donck, Harry A.

    1982-01-01

    A spacer grid assembly is disclosed for retaining a plurality of fuel rods in substantially parallel spaced relation, the spacer grids being formed with rhombic openings defining contact means for engaging from one to four fuel rods arranged in each opening, the spacer grids being of symmetric configuration with their rhombic openings being asymmetrically offset to permit inversion and relative rotation of the similar spacer grids for improved support of the fuel rods. An improved locking mechanism includes tie bars having chordal surfaces to facilitate their installation in slotted circular openings of the spacer grids, the tie rods being rotatable into locking engagement with the slotted openings.

  11. Real-Life Outcomes for Patients with Asthma Prescribed Spacers for Use with Either Extrafine- or Fine-Particle Inhaled Corticosteroids.

    PubMed

    Guilbert, Theresa W; Colice, Gene; Grigg, Jonathan; van Aalderen, Wim; Martin, Richard J; Israel, Elliot; Postma, Dirkje S; Roche, Nicolas; Phipatanakul, Wanda; Hillyer, Elizabeth V; Evans, Jennifer M; Dolovich, Myrna B; Price, David B

    Spacers are often used with pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) to eliminate the need for coordinating inhalation with actuation. To investigate the real-life effectiveness of spacers prescribed for use with either extrafine- or fine-particle inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs). This historical matched cohort study examined anonymous medical record data over 2 years (1-year baseline, 1-year outcome) for patients with asthma aged 12 to 80 years initiating ICSs by pMDI with or without prescribed spacer. We compared outcomes for spacer versus no-spacer arms, matched for key baseline and asthma-related characteristics, within 2 ICS cohorts: (1) extrafine-particle ICS (beclomethasone) and (2) fine-particle ICS (fluticasone). Effectiveness end points were compared using conditional regression methods. Matched spacer and no-spacer arms of the extrafine-particle ICS cohort each included 2090 patients (69% females; median age, 46-47 years) and the 2 arms of the fine-particle ICS cohort each included 444 patients (67% females; median age, 45 years). With extrafine-particle ICS, we observed no significant difference between spacer and no-spacer arms in severe exacerbation rate (primary end point): adjusted rate ratio, 1.01 (95% CI, 0.83-1.23). With fine-particle ICS, the severe exacerbation rate ratio with spacers was 0.77 (0.47-1.25). Oropharyngeal candidiasis incidence was low and similar in spacer and no-spacer arms for both ICS cohorts. We found no evidence that prescribed spacer devices are associated with improved asthma outcomes for extrafine- or fine-particle ICS administered by pMDI. These findings challenge long-standing assumptions that spacers should improve pMDI effectiveness and indicate the need for pragmatic trials of spacers in clinical practice. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Development of high performance BWR spacer

    SciTech Connect

    Morooka, Shinichi; Shirakawa, Kenetu; Mitutake, Tohru; Yamamoto, Yasushi; Yano, Takashi; Kimura, Jiro

    1996-07-01

    The spacer has a significant effect on thermal hydraulic performance of BWR fuel assembly. The purpose of this study is to develop a new BWR spacer with high critical power and low pressure drop performance. The developed high performance spacer is a ferrule type spacer with twisted tape and improved flow tab. This spacer is called CYCLONE spacer. Critical power and pressure drop have been measured at BEST (BWR Experimental Loop for Stability and Transient test) of Toshiba Corporation. The test bundle consists of electrically heated rods in a 4x4 array configuration. These heater rods are indirectly heated. The heated length and outer diameter of the heater rod, as well as the number and the axial locations of the spacers, are the same as for those for a BWR fuel assembly. The axial power shape is stepped cosine (1.4 of the maximum peaking factor). Two test assemblies with different radial power distribution have been used. One test assembly has the maximum power rods at the center of the test assembly and the other has the maximum power rods near the channel wall. The results show that the critical power performance of CYCLONE spacer is 10 to 25 % higher than that of the ferrule spacers, while the pressure drop for CYCLONE spacer is nearly equal to that of the ferrule spacer.

  13. CRISPR-cas Subtype I-Fb in Acinetobacter baumannii: Evolution and Utilization for Strain Subtyping

    PubMed Central

    Karah, Nabil; Samuelsen, Ørjan; Zarrilli, Raffaele; Sahl, Jason W.; Wai, Sun Nyunt; Uhlin, Bernt Eric

    2015-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are polymorphic elements found in the genome of some or all strains of particular bacterial species, providing them with a system of acquired immunity against invading bacteriophages and plasmids. Two CRISPR-Cas systems have been identified in Acinetobacter baumannii, an opportunistic pathogen with a remarkable capacity for clonal dissemination. In this study, we investigated the mode of evolution and diversity of spacers of the CRISPR-cas subtype I-Fb locus in a global collection of 76 isolates of A. baumannii obtained from 14 countries and 4 continents. The locus has basically evolved from a common ancestor following two main lineages and several pathways of vertical descent. However, this vertical passage has been interrupted by occasional events of horizontal transfer of the whole locus between distinct isolates. The isolates were assigned into 40 CRISPR-based sequence types (CST). CST1 and CST23-24 comprised 18 and 9 isolates, representing two main sub-clones of international clones CC1 and CC25, respectively. Epidemiological data showed that some of the CST1 isolates were acquired or imported from Iraq, where it has probably been endemic for more than one decade and occasionally been able to spread to USA, Canada, and Europe. CST23-24 has shown a remarkable ability to cause national outbreaks of infections in Sweden, Argentina, UAE, and USA. The three isolates of CST19 were independently imported from Thailand to Sweden and Norway, raising a concern about the prevalence of CST19 in Thailand. Our study highlights the dynamic nature of the CRISPR-cas subtype I-Fb locus in A. baumannii, and demonstrates the possibility of using a CRISPR-based approach for subtyping a significant part of the global population of A. baumannii. PMID:25706932

  14. CRISPR-cas subtype I-Fb in Acinetobacter baumannii: evolution and utilization for strain subtyping.

    PubMed

    Karah, Nabil; Samuelsen, Ørjan; Zarrilli, Raffaele; Sahl, Jason W; Wai, Sun Nyunt; Uhlin, Bernt Eric

    2015-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are polymorphic elements found in the genome of some or all strains of particular bacterial species, providing them with a system of acquired immunity against invading bacteriophages and plasmids. Two CRISPR-Cas systems have been identified in Acinetobacter baumannii, an opportunistic pathogen with a remarkable capacity for clonal dissemination. In this study, we investigated the mode of evolution and diversity of spacers of the CRISPR-cas subtype I-Fb locus in a global collection of 76 isolates of A. baumannii obtained from 14 countries and 4 continents. The locus has basically evolved from a common ancestor following two main lineages and several pathways of vertical descent. However, this vertical passage has been interrupted by occasional events of horizontal transfer of the whole locus between distinct isolates. The isolates were assigned into 40 CRISPR-based sequence types (CST). CST1 and CST23-24 comprised 18 and 9 isolates, representing two main sub-clones of international clones CC1 and CC25, respectively. Epidemiological data showed that some of the CST1 isolates were acquired or imported from Iraq, where it has probably been endemic for more than one decade and occasionally been able to spread to USA, Canada, and Europe. CST23-24 has shown a remarkable ability to cause national outbreaks of infections in Sweden, Argentina, UAE, and USA. The three isolates of CST19 were independently imported from Thailand to Sweden and Norway, raising a concern about the prevalence of CST19 in Thailand. Our study highlights the dynamic nature of the CRISPR-cas subtype I-Fb locus in A. baumannii, and demonstrates the possibility of using a CRISPR-based approach for subtyping a significant part of the global population of A. baumannii.

  15. Survey of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and their associated Cas proteins (CRISPR/Cas) systems in multiple sequenced strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Ostria-Hernández, Martha Lorena; Sánchez-Vallejo, Carlos Javier; Ibarra, J Antonio; Castro-Escarpulli, Graciela

    2015-08-04

    In recent years the emergence of multidrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strains has been an increasingly common event. This opportunistic species is one of the five main bacterial pathogens that cause hospital infections worldwide and multidrug resistance has been associated with the presence of high molecular weight plasmids. Plasmids are generally acquired through horizontal transfer and therefore is possible that systems that prevent the entry of foreign genetic material are inactive or absent. One of these systems is CRISPR/Cas. However, little is known regarding the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and their associated Cas proteins (CRISPR/Cas) system in K. pneumoniae. The adaptive immune system CRISPR/Cas has been shown to limit the entry of foreign genetic elements into bacterial organisms and in some bacteria it has been shown to be involved in regulation of virulence genes. Thus in this work we used bioinformatics tools to determine the presence or absence of CRISPR/Cas systems in available K. pneumoniae genomes. The complete CRISPR/Cas system was identified in two out of the eight complete K. pneumoniae genomes sequences and in four out of the 44 available draft genomes sequences. The cas genes in these strains comprises eight cas genes similar to those found in Escherichia coli, suggesting they belong to the type I-E group, although their arrangement is slightly different. As for the CRISPR sequences, the average lengths of the direct repeats and spacers were 29 and 33 bp, respectively. BLAST searches demonstrated that 38 of the 116 spacer sequences (33%) are significantly similar to either plasmid, phage or genome sequences, while the remaining 78 sequences (67%) showed no significant similarity to other sequences. The region where the CRISPR/Cas systems were located is the same in all the Klebsiella genomes containing it, it has a syntenic architecture, and is located among genes encoding for proteins likely involved in

  16. Efficient CRISPR-Mediated Post-Transcriptional Gene Silencing in a Hyperthermophilic Archaeon Using Multiplexed crRNA Expression.

    PubMed

    Zebec, Ziga; Zink, Isabelle Anna; Kerou, Melina; Schleper, Christa

    2016-10-13

    CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)-mediated RNA degradation is catalyzed by a type III system in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus Earlier work demonstrated that the system can be engineered to target specifically mRNA of an endogenous host reporter gene, namely the β-galactosidase in S. solfataricus Here, we investigated the effect of single and multiple spacers targeting the mRNA of a second reporter gene, α-amylase, at the same, and at different, locations respectively, using a minimal CRISPR (miniCR) locus supplied on a viral shuttle vector. The use of increasing numbers of spacers reduced mRNA levels at progressively higher levels, with three crRNAs (CRISPR RNAs) leading to ∼ 70-80% reduction, and five spacers resulting in an α-amylase gene knockdown of > 90% measured on both mRNA and protein activity levels. Our results indicate that this technology can be used to increase or modulate gene knockdown for efficient post-transcriptional gene silencing in hyperthermophilic archaea, and potentially also in other organisms.

  17. Efficient CRISPR-Mediated Post-Transcriptional Gene Silencing in a Hyperthermophilic Archaeon Using Multiplexed crRNA Expression

    PubMed Central

    Zebec, Ziga; Zink, Isabelle Anna; Kerou, Melina; Schleper, Christa

    2016-01-01

    CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)-mediated RNA degradation is catalyzed by a type III system in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Earlier work demonstrated that the system can be engineered to target specifically mRNA of an endogenous host reporter gene, namely the β-galactosidase in S. solfataricus. Here, we investigated the effect of single and multiple spacers targeting the mRNA of a second reporter gene, α-amylase, at the same, and at different, locations respectively, using a minimal CRISPR (miniCR) locus supplied on a viral shuttle vector. The use of increasing numbers of spacers reduced mRNA levels at progressively higher levels, with three crRNAs (CRISPR RNAs) leading to ∼ 70–80% reduction, and five spacers resulting in an α-amylase gene knockdown of > 90% measured on both mRNA and protein activity levels. Our results indicate that this technology can be used to increase or modulate gene knockdown for efficient post-transcriptional gene silencing in hyperthermophilic archaea, and potentially also in other organisms. PMID:27507792

  18. CRISPR/Cas9 Technologies.

    PubMed

    Williams, Bart O; Warman, Matthew L

    2017-02-23

    The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) pathway is revolutionizing biological research. Modifications to this primitive prokaryotic immune system now enable scientists to efficiently edit DNA or modulate gene expression in living eukaryotic cells and organisms. Thus, many laboratories can now perform important experiments that previously were considered scientifically risky or too costly. Here, we describe the components of the CRISPR/Cas system that have been engineered for use in eukaryotes. We also explain how this system can be used to genetically modify cell lines and model organisms, or regulate gene expression in order to search for new participants in biological pathways. © 2017 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

  19. Diversity of CRISPR loci in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Díez-Villaseñor, C; Almendros, C; García-Martínez, J; Mojica, F J M

    2010-05-01

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and CAS (CRISPR-associated sequence) proteins are constituents of a novel genetic barrier that limits horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes by means of an uncharacterized mechanism. The fundamental discovery of small RNAs as the guides of the defence apparatus arose as a result of Escherichia coli studies. However, a survey of the system diversity in this species in order to further contribute to the understanding of the CRISPR mode of action has not yet been performed. Here we describe two CRISPR/CAS systems found in E. coli, following the analysis of 100 strains representative of the species' diversity. Our results substantiate different levels of activity between loci of both CRISPR types, as well as different target preferences and CRISPR relevances for particular groups of strains. Interestingly, the data suggest that the degeneration of one CRISPR/CAS system in E. coli ancestors could have been brought about by self-interference.

  20. Genome modification by CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yuanwu; Zhang, Lianfeng; Huang, Xingxu

    2014-12-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein (Cas)9-mediated genome modification enables us to edit the genomes of a variety of organisms rapidly and efficiently. The advantages of the CRISPR-Cas9 system have made it an increasingly popular genetic engineering tool for biological and therapeutic applications. Moreover, CRISPR-Cas9 has been employed to recruit functional domains that repress/activate gene expression or label specific genomic loci in living cells or organisms, in order to explore developmental mechanisms, gene expression regulation, and animal behavior. One major concern about this system is its specificity; although CRISPR-Cas9-mediated off-target mutation has been broadly studied, more efforts are required to further improve the specificity of CRISPR-Cas9. We will also discuss the potential applications of CRISPR-Cas9. © 2014 FEBS.

  1. Proteins and DNA elements essential for the CRISPR adaptation process in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Yosef, Ido; Goren, Moran G; Qimron, Udi

    2012-07-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and their associated proteins (CRISPR/Cas) constitute a recently identified prokaryotic defense mechanism against invading nucleic acids. Activity of the CRISPR/Cas system comprises of three steps: (i) insertion of alien DNA sequences into the CRISPR array to prevent future attacks, in a process called 'adaptation', (ii) expression of the relevant proteins, as well as expression and processing of the array, followed by (iii) RNA-mediated interference with the alien nucleic acid. Here we describe a robust assay in Escherichia coli to explore the hitherto least-studied process, adaptation. We identify essential genes and DNA elements in the leader sequence and in the array which are essential for the adaptation step. We also provide mechanistic insights on the insertion of the repeat-spacer unit by showing that the first repeat serves as the template for the newly inserted repeat. Taken together, our results elucidate fundamental steps in the adaptation process of the CRISPR/Cas system.

  2. Rational design of inducible CRISPR guide RNAs for de novo assembly of transcriptional programs.

    PubMed

    Ferry, Quentin R V; Lyutova, Radostina; Fulga, Tudor A

    2017-03-03

    CRISPR-based transcription regulators (CRISPR-TRs) have transformed the current synthetic biology landscape by allowing specific activation or repression of any target gene. Here we report a modular and versatile framework enabling rapid implementation of inducible CRISPR-TRs in mammalian cells. This strategy relies on the design of a spacer-blocking hairpin (SBH) structure at the 5' end of the single guide RNA (sgRNA), which abrogates the function of CRISPR-transcriptional activators. By replacing the SBH loop with ligand-controlled RNA-cleaving units, we demonstrate conditional activation of quiescent sgRNAs programmed to respond to genetically encoded or externally delivered triggers. We use this system to couple multiple synthetic and endogenous target genes with specific inducers, and assemble gene regulatory modules demonstrating parallel and orthogonal transcriptional programs. We anticipate that this 'plug and play' approach will be a valuable addition to the synthetic biology toolkit, facilitating the understanding of natural gene circuits and the design of cell-based therapeutic strategies.

  3. Rational design of inducible CRISPR guide RNAs for de novo assembly of transcriptional programs

    PubMed Central

    Ferry, Quentin R. V.; Lyutova, Radostina; Fulga, Tudor A.

    2017-01-01

    CRISPR-based transcription regulators (CRISPR-TRs) have transformed the current synthetic biology landscape by allowing specific activation or repression of any target gene. Here we report a modular and versatile framework enabling rapid implementation of inducible CRISPR-TRs in mammalian cells. This strategy relies on the design of a spacer-blocking hairpin (SBH) structure at the 5′ end of the single guide RNA (sgRNA), which abrogates the function of CRISPR-transcriptional activators. By replacing the SBH loop with ligand-controlled RNA-cleaving units, we demonstrate conditional activation of quiescent sgRNAs programmed to respond to genetically encoded or externally delivered triggers. We use this system to couple multiple synthetic and endogenous target genes with specific inducers, and assemble gene regulatory modules demonstrating parallel and orthogonal transcriptional programs. We anticipate that this ‘plug and play' approach will be a valuable addition to the synthetic biology toolkit, facilitating the understanding of natural gene circuits and the design of cell-based therapeutic strategies. PMID:28256578

  4. Streptococcus zooepidemicus and Streptococcus equi evolution: the role of CRISPRs.

    PubMed

    Waller, Andrew S; Robinson, Carl

    2013-12-01

    The host-restricted bacterium Streptococcus equi is the causative agent of equine strangles, the most frequently diagnosed infectious disease of horses worldwide. The disease is characterized by abscessation of the lymph nodes of the head and neck, leading to significant welfare and economic cost. S. equi is believed to have evolved from an ancestral strain of Streptococcus zooepidemicus, an opportunistic pathogen of horses and other animals. Comparison of the genome of S. equi strain 4047 with those of S. zooepidemicus identified examples of gene loss due to mutation and deletion, and gene gain through the acquisition of mobile genetic elements that have probably shaped the pathogenic specialization of S. equi. In particular, deletion of the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) locus in the ancestor of S. equi may have predisposed the bacterium to acquire and incorporate new genetic material into its genome. These include four prophages and a novel integrative conjugative element. The virulence cargo carried by these mobile genetic elements is believed to have shaped the ability of S. equi to cause strangles. Further sequencing of S. zooepidemicus has highlighted the diversity of this opportunistic pathogen. Again, CRISPRs are postulated to influence evolution, balancing the need for gene gain over genome stability. Analysis of spacer sequences suggest that these pathogens may be susceptible to a limited range of phages and provide further evidence of cross-species exchange of genetic material among Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus dysgalactiae.

  5. Multiple mechanisms for CRISPR-Cas inhibition by anti-CRISPR proteins.

    PubMed

    Bondy-Denomy, Joseph; Garcia, Bianca; Strum, Scott; Du, Mingjian; Rollins, MaryClare F; Hidalgo-Reyes, Yurima; Wiedenheft, Blake; Maxwell, Karen L; Davidson, Alan R

    2015-10-01

    The battle for survival between bacteria and the viruses that infect them (phages) has led to the evolution of many bacterial defence systems and phage-encoded antagonists of these systems. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and the CRISPR-associated (cas) genes comprise an adaptive immune system that is one of the most widespread means by which bacteria defend themselves against phages. We identified the first examples of proteins produced by phages that inhibit a CRISPR-Cas system. Here we performed biochemical and in vivo investigations of three of these anti-CRISPR proteins, and show that each inhibits CRISPR-Cas activity through a distinct mechanism. Two block the DNA-binding activity of the CRISPR-Cas complex, yet do this by interacting with different protein subunits, and using steric or non-steric modes of inhibition. The third anti-CRISPR protein operates by binding to the Cas3 helicase-nuclease and preventing its recruitment to the DNA-bound CRISPR-Cas complex. In vivo, this anti-CRISPR can convert the CRISPR-Cas system into a transcriptional repressor, providing the first example-to our knowledge-of modulation of CRISPR-Cas activity by a protein interactor. The diverse sequences and mechanisms of action of these anti-CRISPR proteins imply an independent evolution, and foreshadow the existence of other means by which proteins may alter CRISPR-Cas function.

  6. Identification and characterization of E. coli CRISPR-cas promoters and their silencing by H-NS.

    PubMed

    Pul, Umit; Wurm, Reinhild; Arslan, Zihni; Geissen, René; Hofmann, Nina; Wagner, Rolf

    2010-03-01

    Inheritable bacterial defence systems against phage infection and foreign DNA, termed CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), consist of cas protein genes and repeat arrays interspaced with sequences originating from invaders. The Cas proteins together with processed small spacer-repeat transcripts (crRNAs) cause degradation of penetrated foreign DNA by unknown mechanisms. Here, we have characterized previously unidentified promoters of the Escherichia coli CRISPR arrays and cas protein genes. Transcription of precursor crRNA is directed by a promoter located within the CRISPR leader. A second promoter, directing cas gene transcription, is located upstream of the genes encoding proteins of the Cascade complex. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the DNA-binding protein H-NS is involved in silencing the CRISPR-cas promoters, resulting in cryptic Cas protein expression. Our results demonstrate an active involvement of H-NS in the induction of the CRISPR-cas system and suggest a potential link between two prokaryotic defence systems against foreign DNA.

  7. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated phage resistance is not impeded by the DNA modifications of phage T4.

    PubMed

    Yaung, Stephanie J; Esvelt, Kevin M; Church, George M

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria rely on two known DNA-level defenses against their bacteriophage predators: restriction-modification and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems. Certain phages have evolved countermeasures that are known to block endonucleases. For example, phage T4 not only adds hydroxymethyl groups to all of its cytosines, but also glucosylates them, a strategy that defeats almost all restriction enzymes. We sought to determine whether these DNA modifications can similarly impede CRISPR-based defenses. In a bioinformatics search, we found naturally occurring CRISPR spacers that potentially target phages known to modify their DNA. Experimentally, we show that the Cas9 nuclease from the Type II CRISPR system of Streptococcus pyogenes can overcome a variety of DNA modifications in Escherichia coli. The levels of Cas9-mediated phage resistance to bacteriophage T4 and the mutant phage T4 gt, which contains hydroxymethylated but not glucosylated cytosines, were comparable to phages with unmodified cytosines, T7 and the T4-like phage RB49. Our results demonstrate that Cas9 is not impeded by N6-methyladenine, 5-methylcytosine, 5-hydroxymethylated cytosine, or glucosylated 5-hydroxymethylated cytosine.

  8. Molecular identification and characterization of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) gene cluster in Taylorella equigenitalis.

    PubMed

    Hara, Yasushi; Hayashi, Kyohei; Nakajima, Takuya; Kagawa, Shizuko; Tazumi, Akihiro; Moore, John E; Matsuda, Motoo

    2013-09-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs), of approximately 10,000 base pairs (bp) in length, were shown to occur in the Japanese Taylorella equigenitalis strain, EQ59. The locus was composed of the putative CRISPRs-associated with 5 (cas5), RAMP csd1, csd2, recB, cas1, a leader region, 13 CRISPR consensus sequence repeats (each 32 bp; 5'-TCAGCCACGTTCGCGTGGCTGTGTGTTTAAAG-3'). These were in turn separated by 12 non repetitive unique spacer regions of similar length. In addition, a leader region, a transposase/IS protein, a leader region, and cas3 were also seen. All seven putative open reading frames carry their ribosome binding sites. Promoter consensus sequences at the -35 and -10 regions and putative intrinsic ρ-independent transcription terminator regions also occurred. A possible long overlap of 170 bp in length occurred between the recB and cas1 loci. Positive reverse transcription PCR signals of cas5, RAMP csd1, csd2-recB/cas1, and cas3 were generated. A putative secondary structure of the CRISPR consensus repeats was constructed. Following this, CRISPR results of the T. equigenitalis EQ59 isolate were subsequently compared with those from the Taylorella asinigenitalis MCE3 isolate.

  9. Predominance of Single Prophage Carrying a CRISPR/cas System in "Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" Strains in Southern China.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Zheng; Bao, Minli; Wu, Fengnian; Chen, Jianchi; Deng, Xiaoling

    2016-01-01

    "Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" (CLas) is an uncultureable α-proteobacterium associated with citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, yellow shoot disease), a highly destructive disease affecting citrus production worldwide. HLB was observed in Guangdong Province of China over a hundred years ago and remains endemic there. Little is known about CLas biology due to its uncultureable nature. This study began with the genome sequence analysis of CLas Strain A4 from Guangdong in the prophage region. Within the two currently known prophage types, Type 1 (SC1-like) and Type 2 (SC2-like), A4 genome contained only a Type 2 prophage, CGdP2, namely. An analysis on CLas strains collected in Guangdong showed that Type 2 prophage dominated the bacterial population (82.6%, 71/86). An extended survey covering five provinces in southern China also revealed the predominance of single prophage (Type 1 or Type 2) in the CLas population (90.4%, 169/187). CLas strains with two and no prophage types accounted for 7.2% and 2.8%, respectively. In silico analyses on CGdP2 identified a CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/cas (CRISPR-associated protein genes) system, consisting of four 22 bp repeats, three 23 bp spacers and 9 predicted cas. Similar CRISPR/cas systems were detected in all 10 published CLas prophages as well as 13 CLas field strains in southern China. Both Type 1 and Type 2 prophages shared almost identical sequences in spacer 1 and 3 but not spacer 2. Considering that the function of a CRISPR/cas system was to destroy invading DNA, it was hypothesized that a pre-established CLas prophage could use its CRISPR/cas system guided by spacer 1 and/or 3 to defeat the invasion of the other phage/prophage. This hypothesis explained the predominance of single prophage type in the CLas population in southern China. This is the first report of CRISPR/cas system in the "Ca. Liberibacter" genera.

  10. Predominance of Single Prophage Carrying a CRISPR/cas System in “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” Strains in Southern China

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Zheng; Bao, Minli; Wu, Fengnian; Chen, Jianchi; Deng, Xiaoling

    2016-01-01

    “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) is an uncultureable α-proteobacterium associated with citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, yellow shoot disease), a highly destructive disease affecting citrus production worldwide. HLB was observed in Guangdong Province of China over a hundred years ago and remains endemic there. Little is known about CLas biology due to its uncultureable nature. This study began with the genome sequence analysis of CLas Strain A4 from Guangdong in the prophage region. Within the two currently known prophage types, Type 1 (SC1-like) and Type 2 (SC2-like), A4 genome contained only a Type 2 prophage, CGdP2, namely. An analysis on CLas strains collected in Guangdong showed that Type 2 prophage dominated the bacterial population (82.6%, 71/86). An extended survey covering five provinces in southern China also revealed the predominance of single prophage (Type 1 or Type 2) in the CLas population (90.4%, 169/187). CLas strains with two and no prophage types accounted for 7.2% and 2.8%, respectively. In silico analyses on CGdP2 identified a CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/cas (CRISPR-associated protein genes) system, consisting of four 22 bp repeats, three 23 bp spacers and 9 predicted cas. Similar CRISPR/cas systems were detected in all 10 published CLas prophages as well as 13 CLas field strains in southern China. Both Type 1 and Type 2 prophages shared almost identical sequences in spacer 1 and 3 but not spacer 2. Considering that the function of a CRISPR/cas system was to destroy invading DNA, it was hypothesized that a pre-established CLas prophage could use its CRISPR/cas system guided by spacer 1 and/or 3 to defeat the invasion of the other phage/prophage. This hypothesis explained the predominance of single prophage type in the CLas population in southern China. This is the first report of CRISPR/cas system in the “Ca. Liberibacter” genera. PMID:26741827

  11. CRISPR-FOCUS: A web server for designing focused CRISPR screening experiments.

    PubMed

    Cao, Qingyi; Ma, Jian; Chen, Chen-Hao; Xu, Han; Chen, Zhi; Li, Wei; Liu, X Shirley

    2017-01-01

    The recently developed CRISPR screen technology, based on the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system, enables genome-wide interrogation of gene functions in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Although many computational algorithms and web servers have been developed to design single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) with high specificity and efficiency, algorithms specifically designed for conducting CRISPR screens are still lacking. Here we present CRISPR-FOCUS, a web-based platform to search and prioritize sgRNAs for CRISPR screen experiments. With official gene symbols or RefSeq IDs as the only mandatory input, CRISPR-FOCUS filters and prioritizes sgRNAs based on multiple criteria, including efficiency, specificity, sequence conservation, isoform structure, as well as genomic variations including Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and cancer somatic mutations. CRISPR-FOCUS also provides pre-defined positive and negative control sgRNAs, as well as other necessary sequences in the construct (e.g., U6 promoters to drive sgRNA transcription and RNA scaffolds of the CRISPR/Cas9). These features allow users to synthesize oligonucleotides directly based on the output of CRISPR-FOCUS. Overall, CRISPR-FOCUS provides a rational and high-throughput approach for sgRNA library design that enables users to efficiently conduct a focused screen experiment targeting up to thousands of genes. (CRISPR-FOCUS is freely available at http://cistrome.org/crispr-focus/).

  12. CRISPR-Cas and Contact-Dependent Secretion Systems Present on Excisable Pathogenicity Islands with Conserved Recombination Modules.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Megan R; Kalburge, Sai S; Borowski, Joseph D; Peters, Molly C; Colwell, Rita R; Boyd, E Fidelma

    2017-05-15

    Pathogenicity islands (PAIs) are mobile integrated genetic elements that contain a diverse range of virulence factors. PAIs integrate into the host chromosome at a tRNA locus that contains their specific bacterial attachment site, attB, via integrase-mediated site-specific recombination generating attL and attR sites. We identified conserved recombination modules (integrases and att sites) previously described in choleragenic Vibrio cholerae PAIs but with novel cargo genes. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated proteins (Cas proteins) and a type VI secretion system (T6SS) gene cluster were identified at the Vibrio pathogenicity island 1 (VPI-1) insertion site in 19 V. cholerae strains and contained the same recombination module. Two divergent type I-F CRISPR-Cas systems were identified, which differed in Cas protein homology and content. The CRISPR repeat sequence was identical among all V. cholerae strains, but the CRISPR spacer sequences and the number of spacers varied. In silico analysis suggests that the CRISPR-Cas systems were active against phages and plasmids. A type III secretion system (T3SS) was present in 12 V. cholerae strains on a 68-kb island inserted at the same tRNA-serine insertion site as VPI-2 and contained the same recombination module. Bioinformatics analysis showed that two divergent T3SSs exist among the strains examined. Both the CRISPR and T3SS islands excised site specifically from the bacterial chromosome as complete units, and the cognate integrases were essential for this excision. These data demonstrated that identical recombination modules that catalyze integration and excision from the chromosome can acquire diverse cargo genes, signifying a novel method of acquisition for both CRISPR-Cas systems and T3SSs.IMPORTANCE This work demonstrated the presence of CRISPR-Cas systems and T3SSs on PAIs. Our work showed that similar recombination modules can associate with different cargo genes and

  13. CRISPR-mediated Ophthalmic Genome Surgery.

    PubMed

    Cho, Galaxy Y; Abdulla, Yazeed; Sengillo, Jesse D; Justus, Sally; Schaefer, Kellie A; Bassuk, Alexander G; Tsang, Stephen H; Mahajan, Vinit B

    2017-09-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a genome engineering system with great potential for clinical applications due to its versatility and programmability. This review highlights the development and use of CRISPR-mediated ophthalmic genome surgery in recent years. Diverse CRISPR techniques are in development to target a wide array of ophthalmic conditions, including inherited and acquired conditions. Preclinical disease modeling and recent successes in gene editing suggest potential efficacy of CRISPR as a therapeutic for inherited conditions. In particular, the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis with CRISPR-mediated genome surgery is expected to reach clinical trials in the near future. Treatment options for inherited retinal dystrophies are currently limited. CRISPR-mediated genome surgery methods may be able to address this unmet need in the future.

  14. The effect of Mycobacterium tuberculosis CRISPR-associated Cas2 (Rv2816c) on stress response genes expression, morphology and macrophage survival of Mycobacterium smegmatis.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qinqin; Luo, Hongping; Liu, Minqiang; Zeng, Jie; Abdalla, Abualgasim Elgaili; Duan, Xiangke; Li, Qiming; Xie, Jianping

    2016-06-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are present in the genome of 40% bacteria and 90% archaea. CRISPR and accompanying Cas proteins constitute an adaptive immune system against disruptive mobile genetic elements. Two CRISPRs and 9 genes encoding CRISPR-associated proteins have been found in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The CRISPR-associated Cas2 is an endoribonuclease required for the acquisition of new spacers. In this study, Cas2 encoded by Rv2816c was expressed in Mycobacterium smegmatis lacking CRISPR-Cas system and its role in stress responses of M. smegmatis in vitro and within macrophages was studied. We found that Cas2 mediated M. smegmatis stress response changes were associated with the altered expression of sigma factors which involved in mycobacterial stress response and virulence. We also found that Cas2 decreased the survival of M. smegmatis within macrophages. This study provides new insights on the role of Cas2. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. CRISPR/cas Loci of Type II Propionibacterium acnes Confer Immunity against Acquisition of Mobile Elements Present in Type I P. acnes

    PubMed Central

    Brüggemann, Holger; Lomholt, Hans B.; Tettelin, Hervé; Kilian, Mogens

    2012-01-01

    Propionibacterium acnes is a skin commensal that occasionally acts as an opportunistic pathogen. The population structure of this species shows three main lineages (I–III). While type I strains are mainly associated with sebaceous follicles of human skin and inflammatory acne, types II and III strains are more often associated with deep tissue infections. We investigated the occurrence and distribution of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in P. acnes, assessed their immunological memory, and addressed the question if such a system could account for type-specific properties of the species. A collection of 108 clinical isolates covering all known phylotypes of P. acnes was screened for the existence of CRISPR/cas loci. We found that CRISPR loci are restricted to type II P. acnes strains. Sequence analyses of the CRISPR spacers revealed that the system confers immunity to P. acnes-specific phages and to two mobile genetic elements. These elements are found almost exclusively in type I P. acnes strains. Genome sequencing of a type I P. acnes isolate revealed that one element, 54 kb in size, encodes a putative secretion/tight adherence (TAD) system. Thus, CRISPR/cas loci in P. acnes recorded the exposure of type II strains to mobile genetic elements of type I strains. The CRISPR/cas locus is deleted in type I strains, which conceivably accounts for their ability to horizontally acquire fitness or virulence traits and might indicate that type I strains constitute a younger subpopulation of P. acnes. PMID:22479553

  16. A new asthma spacer device to improve compliance in children: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Chaney, Gervase; Clements, Barry; Landau, Lou; Bulsara, Max; Watt, Paul

    2004-11-01

    This pilot study was designed to compare the acceptance, ease of use, and effects on compliance between currently used spacer devices and the Funhaler--a new small volume spacer device designed to improve adherence to asthma medication in children. A matched questionnaire-based survey was conducted by two interviews of each caregiver by the same person. A total of 32 children were randomly recruited from seven clinics spanning widely differing socioeconomic and geographical areas of Perth, Western Australia. Preschool children taking regular inhaled asthma medication using an existing low volume spacer device and aged between 1.5 and 6 years, took part in the pilot study. Parents completed two matched questionnaires. The first questionnaire was completed at the beginning of the study and the second after 2 weeks' use of the Funhaler spacer. Data collected related primarily to ease of use of the devices, child and parental compliance, and treatment attitudes. During the study, parents were also called at random on one occasion to ascertain whether they had attempted to medicate their child the previous day. Using the Funhaler incentive spacer device, parents reported significantly more success at medicating their children (22/30 always successful) in comparison to using their existing spacer device (3/30). Parental adherence to prescribed frequency and the delivery technique of children were also improved. The children also showed improved satisfaction and willingness to use the device and parents' attitude towards medicating their children was improved with the Funhaler spacer device. Use of a novel, incentive spacer device (Funhaler) appeared to be associated with increased success and fewer problems in medicating children, improved child and parental adherence, and a more positive attitude towards treatment, suggesting that more extensive long-term efficacy trials with the device are warranted.

  17. New CRISPR-Cas systems discovered.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hui; Patel, Dinshaw J

    2017-03-01

    In bacteria and archaea, CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems utilize RNA-guided endonucleases to defend against invasion by foreign nucleic acids of bacteriophage, virus and plasmid origin. In a recent paper published in Nature, Burstein et al. identified the first Cas9 protein in uncultivated archaea and two novel CRISPR-CasX and CRISPR-CasY systems in uncultivated bacteria by capitalizing on analysis of terabase-scale metagenomic datasets from natural uncultivated organisms.

  18. Randomized trial of spacers in asthma.

    PubMed

    Dahiya, Baljit; Mathew, Joseph L; Singh, Meenu

    2007-07-01

    To compare the efficacy of all types of spacers commonly available to children in India. 150 children 5-14 yr of age with persistent asthma presenting with peak expiratory flow (PEF) < 70% of personal best were randomized to receive 200 mg salbutamol through one of five spacers: A) 750 ml spacer with valve, B) 165 ml spacer with valve, C) 250 ml spacer without valve, D) 1000 ml indigenously made spacer without valve and E) 500 ml indigenously made spacer without valve. PEF measurement was repeated 15 minutes later. Children> 8 yr old performed spirometry in addition to PEF. Absolute change and percentage improvement of PEF and FEV1 were compared among the groups. Subjects in all groups had comparable baseline demographic characteristics and PEF. All showed significant improvement in PEF and FEV1 over baseline values. The change in PEF and percentage improvement were comparable among all five groups (p=0.780 and p=0.955 respectively). Likewise change in FEV1 and percentage improvement were also comparable. The five groups showed no difference in efficacy, irrespective of severity of baseline airway obstruction. The five spacers were equally efficacious for the delivery of bronchodilator in children with moderate persistent asthma presenting with airway obstruction.

  19. A CRISPR view of development

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Melissa M.; Jenkins, Brian V.; O’Connor-Giles, Kate M.

    2014-01-01

    The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)–Cas9 (CRISPR-associated nuclease 9) system is poised to transform developmental biology by providing a simple, efficient method to precisely manipulate the genome of virtually any developing organism. This RNA-guided nuclease (RGN)-based approach already has been effectively used to induce targeted mutations in multiple genes simultaneously, create conditional alleles, and generate endogenously tagged proteins. Illustrating the adaptability of RGNs, the genomes of >20 different plant and animal species as well as multiple cell lines and primary cells have been successfully modified. Here we review the current and potential uses of RGNs to investigate genome function during development. PMID:25184674

  20. LISA telescope spacer design investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanjuan, Josep; Mueller, Guido; Livas, Jeffrey; Preston, Alix; Arsenovic, Petar; Castellucci, Kevin; Generie, Joseph; Howard, Joseph; Stebbins, Robin

    ) and materials such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) are considered to be used in the telescope spacer structure. We will describe our experimental efforts to understand and quantify the behavior of different materials and also discuss a first investigation of a specific on-axis SiC telescope spacer for LISA. This work is supported by NASA contract 00069955.

  1. Invasive DNA, Chopped and in the CRISPR

    PubMed Central

    Marraffini, Luciano A.; Sontheimer, Erik J.

    2009-01-01

    In this issue of Structure, Wiedenheft et al. describe the structure and activity of Cas1, the only protein associated with all CRISPR loci. Cas1 is a metal-dependent deoxyribonuclease, consistent with a role in the adaptation phase of CRISPR immunity against invading nucleic acids. PMID:19523896

  2. Assessing the intra-species genetic variability in the clonal pathogen Campylobacter fetus: CRISPRs are highly polymorphic DNA markers.

    PubMed

    Calleros, Lucía; Betancor, Laura; Iraola, Gregorio; Méndez, Alejandra; Morsella, Claudia; Paolicchi, Fernando; Silveyra, Silvia; Velilla, Alejandra; Pérez, Ruben

    2017-01-01

    Campylobacter fetus is a Gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium that infects animals and humans. The subspecies Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus (Cff) affects a broad range of vertebrate hosts and induces abortion in cows and sheep. Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis (Cfv) is restricted to cattle and causes the endemic disease bovine genital campylobacteriosis, which triggers reproductive problems and is responsible for major economic losses. Campylobacter fetus subsp. testudinum (Cft) has been isolated mostly from apparently healthy reptiles belonging to different species but also from ill snakes and humans. Genotypic differentiation of Cff and Cfv is difficult, and epidemiological information is scarce because there are few methods to study the genetic diversity of the strains. We analyze the efficacy of MLST, ribosomal sequences (23S gene and internal spacer region), and CRISPRs to assess the genetic variability of C. fetus in bovine and human isolates. Sequences retrieved from complete genomes were included in the analysis for comparative purposes. MLST and ribosomal sequences had scarce or null variability, while the CRISPR-cas system structure and the sequence of CRISPR1 locus showed remarkable diversity. None of the sequences here analyzed provided evidence of a genetic differentiation of Cff and Cfv in bovine isolates. Comparison of bovine and human isolates with Cft strains showed a striking divergence. Inter-host differences raise the possibility of determining the original host of human infections using CRISPR sequences. CRISPRs are the most variable sequences analyzed in C. fetus so far, and constitute excellent representatives of a dynamic fraction of the genome. CRISPR typing is a promising tool to characterize isolates and to track the source and transmission route of C. fetus infections.

  3. CRISPR-Cas Genome Surgery in Ophthalmology

    PubMed Central

    DiCarlo, James E.; Sengillo, Jesse D.; Justus, Sally; Cabral, Thiago; Tsang, Stephen H.; Mahajan, Vinit B.

    2017-01-01

    Genetic disease affecting vision can significantly impact patient quality of life. Gene therapy seeks to slow the progression of these diseases by treating the underlying etiology at the level of the genome. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated systems (Cas) represent powerful tools for studying diseases through the creation of model organisms generated by targeted modification and by the correction of disease mutations for therapeutic purposes. CRISPR-Cas systems have been applied successfully to the visual sciences and study of ophthalmic disease – from the modification of zebrafish and mammalian models of eye development and disease, to the correction of pathogenic mutations in patient-derived stem cells. Recent advances in CRISPR-Cas delivery and optimization boast improved functionality that continues to enhance genome-engineering applications in the eye. This review provides a synopsis of the recent implementations of CRISPR-Cas tools in the field of ophthalmology. PMID:28573077

  4. Structure and mechanism of the CMR complex for CRISPR-mediated antiviral immunity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jing; Rouillon, Christophe; Kerou, Melina; Reeks, Judith; Brugger, Kim; Graham, Shirley; Reimann, Julia; Cannone, Giuseppe; Liu, Huanting; Albers, Sonja-Verena; Naismith, James H; Spagnolo, Laura; White, Malcolm F

    2012-01-01

    Summary The prokaryotic Clusters of Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) system utilizes genomically-encoded CRISPR RNA (crRNA), derived from invading viruses and incorporated into ribonucleoprotein complexes with CRISPR-associated (CAS) proteins, to target and degrade viral DNA or RNA on subsequent infection. RNA is targeted by the CMR complex. In Sulfolobus solfataricus, this complex is composed of seven CAS protein subunits (Cmr1-7) and carries a diverse “payload” of targeting crRNA. The crystal structure of Cmr7 and low resolution structure of the complex are presented. S. solfataricus CMR cleaves RNA targets in an endonucleolytic reaction at UA dinucleotides. This activity is dependent on the 8-nucleotide repeat-derived 5′ sequence in the crRNA, but not on the presence of a proto-spacer associated motif (PAM) in the target. Both target and guide RNAs can be cleaved, although a single molecule of guide RNA can support the degradation of multiple targets. PMID:22227115

  5. Assemble CRISPRs from metagenomic sequencing data.

    PubMed

    Lei, Jikai; Sun, Yanni

    2016-09-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas) allows more specific and efficient gene editing than all previous genetic engineering systems. These exciting discoveries stem from the finding of the CRISPR system being an adaptive immune system that protects the prokaryotes against exogenous genetic elements such as phages. Despite the exciting discoveries, almost all knowledge about CRISPRs is based only on microorganisms that can be isolated, cultured and sequenced in labs. However, about 95% of bacterial species cannot be cultured in labs. The fast accumulation of metagenomic data, which contains DNA sequences of microbial species from natural samples, provides a unique opportunity for CRISPR annotation in uncultivable microbial species. However, the large amount of data, heterogeneous coverage and shared leader sequences of some CRISPRs pose challenges for identifying CRISPRs efficiently in metagenomic data. In this study, we developed a CRISPR finding tool for metagenomic data without relying on generic assembly, which is error-prone and computationally expensive for complex data. Our tool can run on commonly available machines in small labs. It employs properties of CRISPRs to decompose generic assembly into local assembly. We tested it on both mock and real metagenomic data and benchmarked the performance with state-of-the-art tools. The source code and the documentation of metaCRISPR is available at https://github.com/hangelwen/metaCRISPR CONTACT: yannisun@msu.edu. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Double-strand DNA end-binding and sliding of the toroidal CRISPR-associated protein Csn2

    PubMed Central

    Arslan, Zihni; Wurm, Reinhild; Brener, Oleksandr; Ellinger, Philipp; Nagel-Steger, Luitgard; Oesterhelt, Filipp; Schmitt, Lutz; Willbold, Dieter; Wagner, Rolf; Gohlke, Holger; Smits, Sander H. J.; Pul, Ümit

    2013-01-01

    The adaptive immunity of bacteria against foreign nucleic acids, mediated by CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), relies on the specific incorporation of short pieces of the invading foreign DNA into a special genomic locus, termed CRISPR array. The stored sequences (spacers) are subsequently used in the form of small RNAs (crRNAs) to interfere with the target nucleic acid. We explored the DNA-binding mechanism of the immunization protein Csn2 from the human pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae using different biochemical techniques, atomic force microscopic imaging and molecular dynamics simulations. The results demonstrate that the ring-shaped Csn2 tetramer binds DNA ends through its central hole and slides inward, likely by a screw motion along the helical path of the enclosed DNA. The presented data indicate an accessory function of Csn2 during integration of exogenous DNA by end-joining. PMID:23625968

  7. WGE: a CRISPR database for genome engineering

    PubMed Central

    Hodgkins, Alex; Farne, Anna; Perera, Sajith; Grego, Tiago; Parry-Smith, David J.; Skarnes, William C.; Iyer, Vivek

    2015-01-01

    Summary: The rapid development of CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing techniques has given rise to a number of online and stand-alone tools to find and score CRISPR sites for whole genomes. Here we describe the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Genome Editing database (WGE), which uses novel methods to compute, visualize and select optimal CRISPR sites in a genome browser environment. The WGE database currently stores single and paired CRISPR sites and pre-calculated off-target information for CRISPRs located in the mouse and human exomes. Scoring and display of off-target sites is simple, and intuitive, and filters can be applied to identify high-quality CRISPR sites rapidly. WGE also provides a tool for the design and display of gene targeting vectors in the same genome browser, along with gene models, protein translation and variation tracks. WGE is open, extensible and can be set up to compute and present CRISPR sites for any genome. Availability and implementation: The WGE database is freely available at www.sanger.ac.uk/htgt/wge Contact: vvi@sanger.ac.uk or skarnes@sanger.ac.uk Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:25979474

  8. Crystal Structure of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas1 and Its Interaction with Csn2 in the Type II CRISPR-Cas System.

    PubMed

    Ka, Donghyun; Lee, Hasup; Jung, Yi-Deun; Kim, Kyunggon; Seok, Chaok; Suh, Nayoung; Bae, Euiyoung

    2016-01-05

    CRISPRs and Cas proteins constitute an RNA-guided microbial immune system against invading nucleic acids. Cas1 is a universal Cas protein found in all three types of CRISPR-Cas systems, and its role is implicated in new spacer acquisition during CRISPR-mediated adaptive immunity. Here, we report the crystal structure of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas1 (SpCas1) in a type II CRISPR-Cas system and characterize its interaction with S. pyogenes Csn2 (SpCsn2). The SpCas1 structure reveals a unique conformational state distinct from type I Cas1 structures, resulting in a more extensive dimerization interface, a more globular overall structure, and a disruption of potential metal-binding sites for catalysis. We demonstrate that SpCas1 directly interacts with SpCsn2, and identify the binding interface and key residues for Cas complex formation. These results provide structural information for a type II Cas1 protein, and lay a foundation for studying multiprotein Cas complexes functioning in type II CRISPR-Cas systems.

  9. Investigation and analysis of dual-k spacer with different materials and spacer lengths for nanowire-FET performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ko, Hyungwoo; Kim, Jongsu; Kang, Myounggon; Shin, Hyungcheol

    2017-10-01

    In this work, dual-k spacer structures are investigated using a variety of materials along the high-k spacer length in detail. It is known that not only the higher permittivity materials of high-k spacer boost the on-current but also lower permittivity materials of low-k spacer effectively reduce the off-current. By compared the results of other various single spacers and dual-k spacers, it is HfO2/Vacuum dual-k spacer that shows relatively higher ION, ION/IOFF, better immunity of short channel effects and outstanding device performances.

  10. CRISPR-Cas Defense System and Potential Prophages in Cyanobacteria Associated with the Coral Black Band Disease.

    PubMed

    Buerger, Patrick; Wood-Charlson, Elisha M; Weynberg, Karen D; Willis, Bette L; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how pathogens maintain their virulence is critical to developing tools to mitigate disease in animal populations. We sequenced and assembled the first draft genome of Roseofilum reptotaenium AO1, the dominant cyanobacterium underlying pathogenicity of the virulent coral black band disease (BBD), and analyzed parts of the BBD-associated Geitlerinema sp. BBD_1991 genome in silico. Both cyanobacteria are equipped with an adaptive, heritable clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas defense system type I-D and have potential virulence genes located within several prophage regions. The defense system helps to prevent infection by viruses and mobile genetic elements via identification of short fingerprints of the intruding DNA, which are stored as templates in the bacterial genome, in so-called "CRISPRs." Analysis of CRISPR target sequences (protospacers) revealed an unusually high number of self-targeting spacers in R. reptotaenium AO1 and extraordinary long CRIPSR arrays of up to 260 spacers in Geitlerinema sp. BBD_1991. The self-targeting spacers are unlikely to be a form of autoimmunity; instead these target an incomplete lysogenic bacteriophage. Lysogenic virus induction experiments with mitomycin C and UV light did not reveal an actively replicating virus population in R. reptotaenium AO1 cultures, suggesting that phage functionality is compromised or excision could be blocked by the CRISPR-Cas system. Potential prophages were identified in three regions of R. reptotaenium AO1 and five regions of Geitlerinema sp. BBD_1991, containing putative BBD relevant virulence genes, such as an NAD-dependent epimerase/dehydratase (a homolog in terms of functionality to the third and fourth most expressed gene in BBD), lysozyme/metalloendopeptidases and other lipopolysaccharide modification genes. To date, viruses have not been considered to be a component of the BBD consortium or a contributor to the virulence of R. reptotaenium AO1

  11. CRISPR-Cas Defense System and Potential Prophages in Cyanobacteria Associated with the Coral Black Band Disease

    PubMed Central

    Buerger, Patrick; Wood-Charlson, Elisha M.; Weynberg, Karen D.; Willis, Bette L.; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how pathogens maintain their virulence is critical to developing tools to mitigate disease in animal populations. We sequenced and assembled the first draft genome of Roseofilum reptotaenium AO1, the dominant cyanobacterium underlying pathogenicity of the virulent coral black band disease (BBD), and analyzed parts of the BBD-associated Geitlerinema sp. BBD_1991 genome in silico. Both cyanobacteria are equipped with an adaptive, heritable clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas defense system type I-D and have potential virulence genes located within several prophage regions. The defense system helps to prevent infection by viruses and mobile genetic elements via identification of short fingerprints of the intruding DNA, which are stored as templates in the bacterial genome, in so-called “CRISPRs.” Analysis of CRISPR target sequences (protospacers) revealed an unusually high number of self-targeting spacers in R. reptotaenium AO1 and extraordinary long CRIPSR arrays of up to 260 spacers in Geitlerinema sp. BBD_1991. The self-targeting spacers are unlikely to be a form of autoimmunity; instead these target an incomplete lysogenic bacteriophage. Lysogenic virus induction experiments with mitomycin C and UV light did not reveal an actively replicating virus population in R. reptotaenium AO1 cultures, suggesting that phage functionality is compromised or excision could be blocked by the CRISPR-Cas system. Potential prophages were identified in three regions of R. reptotaenium AO1 and five regions of Geitlerinema sp. BBD_1991, containing putative BBD relevant virulence genes, such as an NAD-dependent epimerase/dehydratase (a homolog in terms of functionality to the third and fourth most expressed gene in BBD), lysozyme/metalloendopeptidases and other lipopolysaccharide modification genes. To date, viruses have not been considered to be a component of the BBD consortium or a contributor to the virulence of R. reptotaenium

  12. CRMAGE: CRISPR Optimized MAGE Recombineering

    PubMed Central

    Ronda, Carlotta; Pedersen, Lasse Ebdrup; Sommer, Morten O. A.; Nielsen, Alex Toftgaard

    2016-01-01

    A bottleneck in metabolic engineering and systems biology approaches is the lack of efficient genome engineering technologies. Here, we combine CRISPR/Cas9 and λ Red recombineering based MAGE technology (CRMAGE) to create a highly efficient and fast method for genome engineering of Escherichia coli. Using CRMAGE, the recombineering efficiency was between 96.5% and 99.7% for gene recoding of three genomic targets, compared to between 0.68% and 5.4% using traditional recombineering. For modulation of protein synthesis (small insertion/RBS substitution) the efficiency was increased from 6% to 70%. CRMAGE can be multiplexed and enables introduction of at least two mutations in a single round of recombineering with similar efficiencies. PAM-independent loci were targeted using degenerate codons, thereby making it possible to modify any site in the genome. CRMAGE is based on two plasmids that are assembled by a USER-cloning approach enabling quick and cost efficient gRNA replacement. CRMAGE furthermore utilizes CRISPR/Cas9 for efficient plasmid curing, thereby enabling multiple engineering rounds per day. To facilitate the design process, a web-based tool was developed to predict both the λ Red oligos and the gRNAs. The CRMAGE platform enables highly efficient and fast genome editing and may open up promising prospective for automation of genome-scale engineering. PMID:26797514

  13. CRISPR-Mediated Epigenome Editing

    PubMed Central

    Enríquez, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Mounting evidence has called into question our understanding of the role that the central dogma of molecular biology plays in human pathology. The conventional view that elucidating the mechanisms for translating genes into proteins can account for a panoply of diseases has proven incomplete. Landmark studies point to epigenetics as a missing piece of the puzzle. However, technological limitations have hindered the study of specific roles for histone post-translational modifications, DNA modifications, and non-coding RNAs in regulation of the epigenome and chromatin structure. This feature highlights CRISPR systems, including CRISPR-Cas9, as novel tools for targeted epigenome editing. It summarizes recent developments in the field, including integration of optogenetic and functional genomic approaches to explore new therapeutic opportunities, and underscores the importance of mitigating current limitations in the field. This comprehensive, analytical assessment identifies current research gaps, forecasts future research opportunities, and argues that as epigenome editing technologies mature, overcoming critical challenges in delivery, specificity, and fidelity should clear the path to bring these technologies into the clinic. PMID:28018139

  14. Comparative evaluation of market spacer and home made spacer in the management of bronchial asthma.

    PubMed

    Rajkumar; Vatsa, H K; Gaur, S N

    2002-03-01

    A study was conducted to compare the efficacy of market available spacer (with valve) and home made spacer (without valve)--Bislery bottle. Fifteen patients of bronchial asthma were included in the study. With the use of both devices there was significant bronchodilator effect. The reversibility using Bislery bottle was same as with spacer (market available) while comparing the FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC %, FEF 25-75 and PEFR value. The difference in percent change in reversibility values by both the devices was not statistically significant (p < 0.05). We concluded that the Bislery bottle (without valve) is very cheap compared to market-available spacer and is equally effective which, therefore, can be substituted in bronchial asthma patients, who are unable to afford the cost of market available spacers.

  15. The ribosomal gene spacer region in archaebacteria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Achenbach-Richter, L.; Woese, C. R.

    1988-01-01

    Sequences for the spacer regions that separate the 16S and 23S ribosomal RNA genes have been determined for four more (strategically placed) archaebacteria. These confirm the general rule that methanogens and extreme halophiles have spacers that contain a single tRNAala gene, while tRNA genes are not found in the spacer region of the true extreme thermophiles. The present study also shows that the spacer regions from the sulfate reducing Archaeglobus and the extreme thermophile Thermococcus (both of which cluster phylogenetically with the methanogens and extreme halophiles) contain each a tRNAala gene. Thus, not only all methanogens and extreme halophiles show this characteristic, but all organisms on the "methanogen branch" of the archaebacterial tree appear to do so. The finding of a tRNA gene in the spacer region of the extreme thermophile Thermococcus celer is the first known phenotypic property that links this organism with its phylogenetic counterparts, the methanogens, rather than with its phenotypic counterparts, the sulfur-dependent extreme thermophiles.

  16. H-NS Mutation-Mediated CRISPR-Cas Activation Inhibits Phage Release and Toxin Production of Escherichia coli Stx2 Phage Lysogen

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Qiang; Li, Shiyu; Wang, Zhaofei; Shan, Wenya; Ma, Jingjiao; Cheng, Yuqiang; Wang, Hengan; Yan, Yaxian; Sun, Jianhe

    2017-01-01

    Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophages (Stx phages) carry the stx gene and convert nonpathogenic bacterial strains into Shiga toxin-producing bacteria. There is limited understanding of the effect that an Escherichia coli (E. coli) clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas adaptive immune system has on Stx phage lysogen. We investigated heat-stable nucleoid-structuring (H-NS) mutation-mediated CRISPR-Cas activation and its effect on E. coli Stx2 phage lysogen. The Δhns mutant (MG1655Δhns) of the E. coli K-12 strain MG1655 was obtained. The Δhns mutant lysogen that was generated after Stx phage lysogenic infection had a repressed growth status and showed subdued group behavior, including biofilm formation and swarming motility, in comparison to the wild-type strain. The de-repression effect of the H-NS mutation on CRISPR-Cas activity was then verified. The results showed that cas gene expression was upregulated and the transformation efficiency of the wild-type CRISPR plasmids was decreased, which may indicate activation of the CRISPR-Cas system. Furthermore, the function of CRISPR-Cas on Stx2 phage lysogen was investigated by activating the CRISPR-Cas system, which contains an insertion of the protospacer regions of the Stx2 phage Min27. The phage release and toxin production of four lysogens harboring the engineered CRISPRs were investigated. Notably, in the supernatant of the Δhns mutant lysogen harboring the Min27 spacer, both the progeny phage release and the toxin production were inhibited after mitomycin C induction. These observations demonstrate that the H-NS mutation-activated CRISPR-Cas system plays a role in modifying the effects of the Stx2 phage lysogen. Our findings indicated that H-NS mutation-mediated CRISPR-Cas activation in E. coli protects bacteria against Stx2 phage lysogeny by inhibiting the phage release and toxin production of the lysogen. PMID:28458663

  17. CRISPR-Cas Systems in Prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Burmistrz, Michał; Pyrć, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Prokaryotic organisms possess numerous strategies that enable survival in hostile conditions. Among others, these conditions include the invasion of foreign nucleic acids such as bacteriophages and plasmids. The clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas) system provides the majority of bacteria and archaea with adaptive and hereditary immunity against this threat. This mechanism of immunity is based on short fragments of foreign DNA incorporated within the hosts genome. After transcription, these fragments guide protein complexes that target foreign nucleic acids and promote their degradation. The aim of this review is to summarize the current status of CRISPR-Cas research, including the mechanisms of action, the classification of different types and subtypes of these systems, and the development of new CRISPR-Cas-based molecular biology tools.

  18. CRISPR as a strong gene editing tool.

    PubMed

    Shen, Shengfu; Loh, Tiing Jen; Shen, Hongling; Zheng, Xuexiu; Shen, Haihong

    2017-01-01

    Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a new and effective genetic editing tool. CRISPR was initially found in bacteria to protect it from virus invasions. In the first step, specific DNA strands of virus are identified by guide RNA that is composed of crRNA and tracrRNA. Then RNAse III is required for producing crRNA from pre-crRNA. In The second step, a crRNA:tracrRNA:Cas9 complex guides RNase III to cleave target DNA. After cleavage of DNA by CRISPR-Cas9, DNA can be fixed by Non- Homologous End Joining (NHEJ) and Homology Directed Repair (HDR). Whereas NHEJ is simple and random, HDR is much more complex and accurate. Gene editing by CRISPR is able to be applied to various biological field such as agriculture and treating genetic diseases in human. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(1): 20-24].

  19. CRISPR as a strong gene editing tool

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Shengfu; Loh, Tiing Jen; Shen, Hongling; Zheng, Xuexiu; Shen, Haihong

    2017-01-01

    Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a new and effective genetic editing tool. CRISPR was initially found in bacteria to protect it from virus invasions. In the first step, specific DNA strands of virus are identified by guide RNA that is composed of crRNA and tracrRNA. Then RNAse III is required for producing crRNA from pre-crRNA. In The second step, a crRNA:tracrRNA:Cas9 complex guides RNase III to cleave target DNA. After cleavage of DNA by CRISPR-Cas9, DNA can be fixed by Non-Homologous End Joining (NHEJ) and Homology Directed Repair (HDR). Whereas NHEJ is simple and random, HDR is much more complex and accurate. Gene editing by CRISPR is able to be applied to various biological field such as agriculture and treating genetic diseases in human. PMID:27616359

  20. Protecting genome integrity during CRISPR immune adaptation.

    PubMed

    Wright, Addison V; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2016-10-01

    Bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems include genomic arrays of short repeats flanking foreign DNA sequences and provide adaptive immunity against viruses. Integration of foreign DNA must occur specifically to avoid damaging the genome or the CRISPR array, but surprisingly promiscuous activity occurs in vitro. Here we reconstituted full-site DNA integration and show that the Streptococcus pyogenes type II-A Cas1-Cas2 integrase maintains specificity in part through limitations on the second integration step. At non-CRISPR sites, integration stalls at the half-site intermediate, thereby enabling reaction reversal. S. pyogenes Cas1-Cas2 is highly specific for the leader-proximal repeat and recognizes the repeat's palindromic ends, thus fitting a model of independent recognition by distal Cas1 active sites. These findings suggest that DNA-insertion sites are less common than suggested by previous work, thereby preventing toxicity during CRISPR immune adaptation and maintaining host genome integrity.

  1. Adverse impact of feed channel spacers on the performance of pressure retarded osmosis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yu Chang; Elimelech, Menachem

    2012-04-17

    This article analyzes the influence of feed channel spacers on the performance of pressure retarded osmosis (PRO). Unlike forward osmosis (FO), an important feature of PRO is the application of hydraulic pressure on the high salinity (draw solution) side to retard the permeating flow for energy conversion. We report the first observation of membrane deformation under the action of the high hydraulic pressure on the feed channel spacer and the resulting impact on membrane performance. Because of this observation, reverse osmosis and FO tests that are commonly used for measuring membrane transport properties (water and salt permeability coefficients, A and B, respectively) and the structural parameter (S) can no longer be considered appropriate for use in PRO analysis. To accurately predict the water flux as a function of applied hydraulic pressure difference and the resulting power density in PRO, we introduced a new experimental protocol that accounts for membrane deformation in a spacer-filled channel to determine the membrane properties (A, B, and S). PRO performance model predictions based on these determined A, B, and S values closely matched experimental data over a range of draw solution concentrations (0.5 to 2 M NaCl). We also showed that at high pressures feed spacers block the permeation of water through the membrane area in contact with the spacer, a phenomenon that we term the shadow effect, thereby reducing overall water flux. The implications of the results for power generation by PRO are evaluated and discussed.

  2. Repurposing CRISPR System for Transcriptional Activation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Meng; Qi, Lei Stanley

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system has become the most popular one for genome editing. When the nuclease domains of Cas9 protein are mutated into deactivated form (dCas9), CRISPR/dCas9 still retains the ability to bind the targeted DNA sequence, but loses the endonuclease cleavage activity. Taking advantage of the characteristics of this engineered nuclease inactive Cas9, the CRISPR/dCas system has been repurposed into versatile RNA-guided, DNA-targeting platforms, such as genome imaging, gene regulation, and epigenetic modification. Specifically, fusion of dCas9 with activation domains allows specific and efficient transcriptional activation on a genome-wide scale among diverse organisms. The purpose of this chapter is to review most important the recently published literature on CRISPR/dCas9-based transcriptional activation systems. Compared with the conventional approaches for enhancement of the expression of specific genes of interest, CRISPR/Cas9-based system has emerged as a promising technology for genome regulation, allowing specificity, convenience, robustness, and scalability for endogenous gene activation.

  3. Genetic analysis of Salmonella enterica serovar Gallinarum biovar Pullorum based on characterization and evolution of CRISPR sequence.

    PubMed

    Xie, Xiaolei; Hu, Yachen; Xu, Yaohui; Yin, Kequan; Li, Yang; Chen, Yun; Xia, Jie; Xu, Lijuan; Liu, Zijian; Geng, Shizhong; Li, Qiuchun; Jiao, Xinan; Chen, Xiang; Pan, Zhiming

    2017-05-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Gallinarum biovar Pullorum (S. Pullorum) is the cause of pullorum disease, characterized by white diarrhea, which leads to high mortality in poultry. In this study, we aimed to assess the genetic diversity of 655 S. Pullorum strains from 1962 to 2015 in China, Europe, and South America. A sequence typing scheme based on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) was used to reveal the genetic relationships among these strains in this study. Overall, a total of 20 Pullorum sequence types (PSTs) of CRISPR were identified in the 655 isolates with PST7 (74%, 486/655) and PST3 (13%, 86/655) to be the most two frequent PSTs belonging to two different lineages, which confirmed the genetic conservation of S. Pullorum strains isolated from six provinces and two direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing and Shanghai) in China. However, the identification of seven new PSTs distributed in strains isolated since 2001 implied that genetic variation continues to develop in S. Pullorum. Interestingly, the whole-genome single-nucleotide polymorphism typing (WGST) of 96 strains out of the 655 isolates divided them into four lineages based on SNP analysis of core genomic sequence and exhibit good correspondence with the CRISPR subtyping method. Notably, 22 out of 26 isolates from Europe and South America were distributed in five distinctive PSTs (with no Chinese strains). Additionally, CRISPR data of spacers and their arrangement exhibit subtle but distinct specificity between different strains, and the dynamic adaptive nature of CRISPR loci provides critical insights into the evolution of S. Pullorum as the bacteria are influenced by their environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Short communication: Determination of Salmonella clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) diversity on dairy farms in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

    PubMed

    Wehnes, C A; Rehberger, T G; Barrangou, R; Smith, A H

    2014-10-01

    Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica is a foodborne pathogen able to cause disease in both humans and animals. Diverse serovars of this pathogen exist, some of which are host specific, causing a range of clinical symptoms from asymptomatic infection through morbidity and mortality. According to a 2007 survey by the USDA National Animal Health Monitoring System, fecal shedding of Salmonella from healthy cows occurs on 39.7% of dairy farms in the United States. Certain serovars are frequently isolated from dairy farms and the majority of isolates from the National Animal Health Monitoring System study were represented by 5 serovars; however, genotypic diversity was not examined. The objective of this study was to determine the diversity of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci in Salmonella collected from 8 dairy farms with a previous history of salmonellosis. None of the cows or calves sampled on 2 of the 8 dairy farms were shedding Salmonella, although Salmonella was detected in a cow bedding sample on 1 of these farms. Salmonella populations were discrete on each farm, according to CRISPR typing, with the exception of an Anatum var. 15+ type on farms 5 and 6 and the Montevideo type on farms 1 and 2. One to 4 distinct CRISPR genotypes were identified per farm. The CRISPR typing differed within serovars, as Montevideo, Anatum var. 15+, and Muenster serovars had no overlap of spacer content, even on the same farm, reflecting between- and within-serovar genetic diversity. The dynamic nature of Salmonella populations was shown in a farm that was sampled longitudinally over 13.5 mo. Changes in serovar from 3,19:-:z27 to Montevideo was observed between the first sampling time and 8 mo later, with concomitant change in CRISPR alleles. The results indicate that Salmonella strains present in smaller dairy herds (<500 head) are specific to that farm and new Salmonella strains may emerge over time. Copyright © 2014 American Dairy Science

  5. RNA Interference in the Age of CRISPR: Will CRISPR Interfere with RNAi?

    PubMed Central

    Unniyampurath, Unnikrishnan; Pilankatta, Rajendra; Krishnan, Manoj N.

    2016-01-01

    The recent emergence of multiple technologies for modifying gene structure has revolutionized mammalian biomedical research and enhanced the promises of gene therapy. Over the past decade, RNA interference (RNAi) based technologies widely dominated various research applications involving experimental modulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Recently, a new gene editing technology, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) and the CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) (CRISPR/Cas9) system, has received unprecedented acceptance in the scientific community for a variety of genetic applications. Unlike RNAi, the CRISPR/Cas9 system is bestowed with the ability to introduce heritable precision insertions and deletions in the eukaryotic genome. The combination of popularity and superior capabilities of CRISPR/Cas9 system raises the possibility that this technology may occupy the roles currently served by RNAi and may even make RNAi obsolete. We performed a comparative analysis of the technical aspects and applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 system and RNAi in mammalian systems, with the purpose of charting out a predictive picture on whether the CRISPR/Cas9 system will eclipse the existence and future of RNAi. The conclusion drawn from this analysis is that RNAi will still occupy specific domains of biomedical research and clinical applications, under the current state of development of these technologies. However, further improvements in CRISPR/Cas9 based technology may ultimately enable it to dominate RNAi in the long term. PMID:26927085

  6. Rapidly evolving homing CRISPR barcodes.

    PubMed

    Kalhor, Reza; Mali, Prashant; Church, George M

    2017-02-01

    We present an approach for engineering evolving DNA barcodes in living cells. A homing guide RNA (hgRNA) scaffold directs the Cas9-hgRNA complex to the DNA locus of the hgRNA itself. We show that this homing CRISPR-Cas9 system acts as an expressed genetic barcode that diversifies its sequence and that the rate of diversification can be controlled in cultured cells. We further evaluate these barcodes in cell populations and show that they can be used to record lineage history and that the barcode RNA can be amplified in situ, a prerequisite for in situ sequencing. This integrated approach will have wide-ranging applications, such as in deep lineage tracing, cellular barcoding, molecular recording, dissecting cancer biology, and connectome mapping.

  7. SnapShot: Class 1 CRISPR-Cas Systems.

    PubMed

    Makarova, Kira S; Zhang, Feng; Koonin, Eugene V

    2017-02-23

    Class 1 CRISPR-Cas systems are characterized by effector modules consisting of multiple subunits. Class 1 systems comprise about 90% of all CRISPR-Cas loci identified in bacteria and archaea and can target both DNA and RNA.

  8. Separator-spacer for electrochemical systems

    DOEpatents

    Grimes, Patrick G.; Einstein, Harry; Newby, Kenneth R.; Bellows, Richard J.

    1983-08-02

    An electrochemical cell construction features a novel co-extruded plastic electrode in an interleaved construction with a novel integral separator-spacer. Also featured is a leak and impact resistant construction for preventing the spill of corrosive materials in the event of rupture.

  9. Funhaler spacer: improving adherence without compromising delivery

    PubMed Central

    Watt, P; Clements, B; Devadason, S; Chaney, G

    2003-01-01

    A novel asthma spacer device, the "Funhaler", incorporates incentive toys which are isolated from the main inspiratory circuit by a valve. Here we show that its use does not compromise drug delivery. Improved adherence combined with satisfactory delivery characteristics suggest that the Funhaler may be useful for management of young asthmatics. PMID:12818901

  10. CRISPR adaptive immune systems of Archaea.

    PubMed

    Vestergaard, Gisle; Garrett, Roger A; Shah, Shiraz A

    2014-01-01

    CRISPR adaptive immune systems were analyzed for all available completed genomes of archaea, which included representatives of each of the main archaeal phyla. Initially, all proteins encoded within, and proximal to, CRISPR-cas loci were clustered and analyzed using a profile-profile approach. Then cas genes were assigned to gene cassettes and to functional modules for adaptation and interference. CRISPR systems were then classified primarily on the basis of their concatenated Cas protein sequences and gene synteny of the interference modules. With few exceptions, they could be assigned to the universal Type I or Type III systems. For Type I, subtypes I-A, I-B, and I-D dominate but the data support the division of subtype I-B into two subtypes, designated I-B and I-G. About 70% of the Type III systems fall into the universal subtypes III-A and III-B but the remainder, some of which are phyla-specific, diverge significantly in Cas protein sequences, and/or gene synteny, and they are classified separately. Furthermore, a few CRISPR systems that could not be assigned to Type I or Type III are categorized as variant systems. Criteria are presented for assigning newly sequenced archaeal CRISPR systems to the different subtypes. Several accessory proteins were identified that show a specific gene linkage, especially to Type III interference modules, and these may be cofunctional with the CRISPR systems. Evidence is presented for extensive exchange having occurred between adaptation and interference modules of different archaeal CRISPR systems, indicating the wide compatibility of the functionally diverse interference complexes with the relatively conserved adaptation modules.

  11. GenomeCRISPR - a database for high-throughput CRISPR/Cas9 screens

    PubMed Central

    Rauscher, Benedikt; Heigwer, Florian; Breinig, Marco; Winter, Jan; Boutros, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Over the past years, CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genome editing has developed into a powerful tool for modifying genomes in various organisms. In high-throughput screens, CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene perturbations can be used for the systematic functional analysis of whole genomes. Discoveries from such screens provide a wealth of knowledge about gene to phenotype relationships in various biological model systems. However, a database resource to query results efficiently has been lacking. To this end, we developed GenomeCRISPR (http://genomecrispr.org), a database for genome-scale CRISPR/Cas9 screens. Currently, GenomeCRISPR contains data on more than 550 000 single guide RNAs (sgRNA) derived from 84 different experiments performed in 48 different human cell lines, comprising all screens in human cells using CRISPR/Cas published to date. GenomeCRISPR provides data mining options and tools, such as gene or genomic region search. Phenotypic and genome track views allow users to investigate and compare the results of different screens, or the impact of different sgRNAs on the gene of interest. An Application Programming Interface (API) allows for automated data access and batch download. As more screening data will become available, we also aim at extending the database to include functional genomic data from other organisms and enable cross-species comparisons. PMID:27789686

  12. Structures of the CRISPR genome integration complex.

    PubMed

    Wright, Addison V; Liu, Jun-Jie; Knott, Gavin J; Doxzen, Kevin W; Nogales, Eva; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2017-09-15

    CRISPR-Cas systems depend on the Cas1-Cas2 integrase to capture and integrate short foreign DNA fragments into the CRISPR locus, enabling adaptation to new viruses. We present crystal structures of Cas1-Cas2 bound to both donor and target DNA in intermediate and product integration complexes, as well as a cryo-electron microscopy structure of the full CRISPR locus integration complex, including the accessory protein IHF (integration host factor). The structures show unexpectedly that indirect sequence recognition dictates integration site selection by favoring deformation of the repeat and the flanking sequences. IHF binding bends the DNA sharply, bringing an upstream recognition motif into contact with Cas1 to increase both the specificity and efficiency of integration. These results explain how the Cas1-Cas2 CRISPR integrase recognizes a sequence-dependent DNA structure to ensure site-selective CRISPR array expansion during the initial step of bacterial adaptive immunity. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  13. CRISPR-Cas9 Structures and Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Fuguo; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2017-05-22

    Many bacterial clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems employ the dual RNA-guided DNA endonuclease Cas9 to defend against invading phages and conjugative plasmids by introducing site-specific double-stranded breaks in target DNA. Target recognition strictly requires the presence of a short protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) flanking the target site, and subsequent R-loop formation and strand scission are driven by complementary base pairing between the guide RNA and target DNA, Cas9-DNA interactions, and associated conformational changes. The use of CRISPR-Cas9 as an RNA-programmable DNA targeting and editing platform is simplified by a synthetic single-guide RNA (sgRNA) mimicking the natural dual trans-activating CRISPR RNA (tracrRNA)-CRISPR RNA (crRNA) structure. This review aims to provide an in-depth mechanistic and structural understanding of Cas9-mediated RNA-guided DNA targeting and cleavage. Molecular insights from biochemical and structural studies provide a framework for rational engineering aimed at altering catalytic function, guide RNA specificity, and PAM requirements and reducing off-target activity for the development of Cas9-based therapies against genetic diseases.

  14. Identification, structural, and biochemical characterization of a group of large Csn2 proteins involved in CRISPR-mediated bacterial immunity.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwang-Hoon; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Eun Lee, Kyung; Jeon, Hyesung; Robinson, Howard; Oh, Byung-Ha

    2012-11-01

    Many prokaryotic organisms acquire immunity against foreign genetic material by incorporating a short segment of foreign DNA called spacer into chromosomal loci, termed clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs). The encoded RNAs are processed into small fragments that guide the silencing of the invading genetic elements. The CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins are the main executioners of these processes. Herein, we report the crystal structure of Stu0660 of Streptococcus thermophilus, a Cas protein involved in the acquisition of new spacers. By homotetramerization, Stu0660 forms a central channel which is decorated with basic amino acids and binds linear double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), but not circular dsDNA. Despite undetectably low sequence similarity, two N-terminal domains of Stu0660 are similar to the entire structure of an Enterococcus faecalis Csn2 protein, which also forms a homotetramer and binds dsDNA. Thus, this work identifies a previously unknown group of Stu0660-like Csn2 proteins (∼350 residues), which are larger than the known canonical Csn2 proteins (∼220 residues) by containing an extra C-terminal domain. The commonly present central channel in the two subgroups appears as a design to selectively interact with linear dsDNA.

  15. Control of gene expression by CRISPR-Cas systems.

    PubMed

    Bikard, David; Marraffini, Luciano A

    2013-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci and their associated cas (CRISPR-associated) genes provide adaptive immunity against viruses (phages) and other mobile genetic elements in bacteria and archaea. While most of the early work has largely been dominated by examples of CRISPR-Cas systems directing the cleavage of phage or plasmid DNA, recent studies have revealed a more complex landscape where CRISPR-Cas loci might be involved in gene regulation. In this review, we summarize the role of these loci in the regulation of gene expression as well as the recent development of synthetic gene regulation using engineered CRISPR-Cas systems.

  16. Control of gene expression by CRISPR-Cas systems

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci and their associated cas (CRISPR-associated) genes provide adaptive immunity against viruses (phages) and other mobile genetic elements in bacteria and archaea. While most of the early work has largely been dominated by examples of CRISPR-Cas systems directing the cleavage of phage or plasmid DNA, recent studies have revealed a more complex landscape where CRISPR-Cas loci might be involved in gene regulation. In this review, we summarize the role of these loci in the regulation of gene expression as well as the recent development of synthetic gene regulation using engineered CRISPR-Cas systems. PMID:24273648

  17. CRISPR-Cas encoding of a digital movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria.

    PubMed

    Shipman, Seth L; Nivala, Jeff; Macklis, Jeffrey D; Church, George M

    2017-07-20

    DNA is an excellent medium for archiving data. Recent efforts have illustrated the potential for information storage in DNA using synthesized oligonucleotides assembled in vitro. A relatively unexplored avenue of information storage in DNA is the ability to write information into the genome of a living cell by the addition of nucleotides over time. Using the Cas1-Cas2 integrase, the CRISPR-Cas microbial immune system stores the nucleotide content of invading viruses to confer adaptive immunity. When harnessed, this system has the potential to write arbitrary information into the genome. Here we use the CRISPR-Cas system to encode the pixel values of black and white images and a short movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria. In doing so, we push the technical limits of this information storage system and optimize strategies to minimize those limitations. We also uncover underlying principles of the CRISPR-Cas adaptation system, including sequence determinants of spacer acquisition that are relevant for understanding both the basic biology of bacterial adaptation and its technological applications. This work demonstrates that this system can capture and stably store practical amounts of real data within the genomes of populations of living cells.

  18. Tube support grid and spacer therefor

    DOEpatents

    Ringsmuth, Richard J.; Kaufman, Jay S.

    1986-01-01

    A tube support grid and spacers therefor provide radially inward preloading of heat exchange tubes to minimize stress upon base welds due to differential thermal expansion. The grid comprises a concentric series of rings and spacers with opposing concave sides for conforming to the tubes and V-shaped ends to provide resilient flexibility. The flexibility aids in assembly and in transmitting seismic vibrations from the tubes to a shroud. The tube support grid may be assembled in place to achieve the desired inwardly radial preloading of the heat exchange tubes. Tab and slot assembly further minimizes stresses in the system. The radii of the grid rings may be preselected to effect the desired radially inward preloading.

  19. High-temperature protein G is essential for activity of the Escherichia coli clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas system

    PubMed Central

    Yosef, Ido; Goren, Moran G.; Kiro, Ruth; Edgar, Rotem; Qimron, Udi

    2011-01-01

    Prokaryotic DNA arrays arranged as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), along with their associated proteins, provide prokaryotes with adaptive immunity by RNA-mediated targeting of alien DNA or RNA matching the sequences between the repeats. Here, we present a thorough screening system for the identification of bacterial proteins participating in immunity conferred by the Escherichia coli CRISPR system. We describe the identification of one such protein, high-temperature protein G (HtpG), a homolog of the eukaryotic chaperone heat-shock protein 90. We demonstrate that in the absence of htpG, the E. coli CRISPR system loses its suicidal activity against λ prophage and its ability to provide immunity from lysogenization. Transcomplementation of htpG restores CRISPR activity. We further show that inactivity of the CRISPR system attributable to htpG deficiency can be suppressed by expression of Cas3, a protein that is essential for its activity. Accordingly, we also find that the steady-state level of overexpressed Cas3 is significantly enhanced following HtpG expression. We conclude that HtpG is a newly identified positive modulator of the CRISPR system that is essential for maintaining functional levels of Cas3. PMID:22114197

  20. High-temperature protein G is essential for activity of the Escherichia coli clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas system.

    PubMed

    Yosef, Ido; Goren, Moran G; Kiro, Ruth; Edgar, Rotem; Qimron, Udi

    2011-12-13

    Prokaryotic DNA arrays arranged as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), along with their associated proteins, provide prokaryotes with adaptive immunity by RNA-mediated targeting of alien DNA or RNA matching the sequences between the repeats. Here, we present a thorough screening system for the identification of bacterial proteins participating in immunity conferred by the Escherichia coli CRISPR system. We describe the identification of one such protein, high-temperature protein G (HtpG), a homolog of the eukaryotic chaperone heat-shock protein 90. We demonstrate that in the absence of htpG, the E. coli CRISPR system loses its suicidal activity against λ prophage and its ability to provide immunity from lysogenization. Transcomplementation of htpG restores CRISPR activity. We further show that inactivity of the CRISPR system attributable to htpG deficiency can be suppressed by expression of Cas3, a protein that is essential for its activity. Accordingly, we also find that the steady-state level of overexpressed Cas3 is significantly enhanced following HtpG expression. We conclude that HtpG is a newly identified positive modulator of the CRISPR system that is essential for maintaining functional levels of Cas3.

  1. Evolutionary dynamics of CRISPR gene drives.

    PubMed

    Noble, Charleston; Olejarz, Jason; Esvelt, Kevin M; Church, George M; Nowak, Martin A

    2017-04-01

    The alteration of wild populations has been discussed as a solution to a number of humanity's most pressing ecological and public health concerns. Enabled by the recent revolution in genome editing, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) gene drives-selfish genetic elements that can spread through populations even if they confer no advantage to their host organism-are rapidly emerging as the most promising approach. However, before real-world applications are considered, it is imperative to develop a clear understanding of the outcomes of drive release in nature. Toward this aim, we mathematically study the evolutionary dynamics of CRISPR gene drives. We demonstrate that the emergence of drive-resistant alleles presents a major challenge to previously reported constructs, and we show that an alternative design that selects against resistant alleles could greatly improve evolutionary stability. We discuss all results in the context of CRISPR technology and provide insights that inform the engineering of practical gene drive systems.

  2. Improved nuclear fuel assembly grid spacer

    DOEpatents

    Marshall, John; Kaplan, Samuel

    1977-01-01

    An improved fuel assembly grid spacer and method of retaining the basic fuel rod support elements in position within the fuel assembly containment channel. The improvement involves attachment of the grids to the hexagonal channel and of forming the basic fuel rod support element into a grid structure, which provides a design which is insensitive to potential channel distortion (ballooning) at high fluence levels. In addition the improved method eliminates problems associated with component fabrication and assembly.

  3. Surveillance and Processing of Foreign DNA by the Escherichia coli CRISPR-Cas System.

    PubMed

    Redding, Sy; Sternberg, Samuel H; Marshall, Myles; Gibb, Bryan; Bhat, Prashant; Guegler, Chantal K; Wiedenheft, Blake; Doudna, Jennifer A; Greene, Eric C

    2015-11-05

    CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems protect bacteria and archaea against foreign genetic elements. In Escherichia coli, Cascade (CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense) is an RNA-guided surveillance complex that binds foreign DNA and recruits Cas3, a trans-acting nuclease helicase for target degradation. Here, we use single-molecule imaging to visualize Cascade and Cas3 binding to foreign DNA targets. Our analysis reveals two distinct pathways dictated by the presence or absence of a protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM). Binding to a protospacer flanked by a PAM recruits a nuclease-active Cas3 for degradation of short single-stranded regions of target DNA, whereas PAM mutations elicit an alternative pathway that recruits a nuclease-inactive Cas3 through a mechanism that is dependent on the Cas1 and Cas2 proteins. These findings explain how target recognition by Cascade can elicit distinct outcomes and support a model for acquisition of new spacer sequences through a mechanism involving processive, ATP-dependent Cas3 translocation along foreign DNA.

  4. Virus-Host and CRISPR Dynamics in Archaea-Dominated Hypersaline Lake Tyrrell, Victoria, Australia

    DOE PAGES

    Emerson, Joanne B.; Andrade, Karen; Thomas, Brian C.; ...

    2013-01-01

    The study of natural archaeal assemblages requires community context, namely, a concurrent assessment of the dynamics of archaeal, bacterial, and viral populations. Here, we use filter size-resolved metagenomic analyses to report the dynamics of 101 archaeal and bacterial OTUs and 140 viral populations across 17 samples collected over different timescales from 2007–2010 from Australian hypersaline Lake Tyrrell (LT). All samples were dominated by Archaea (75–95%). Archaeal, bacterial, and viral populations were found to be dynamic on timescales of months to years, and different viral assemblages were present in planktonic, relative to host-associated (active and provirus) size fractions. Analyses of clusteredmore » regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) regions indicate that both rare and abundant viruses were targeted, primarily by lower abundance hosts. Although very few spacers had hits to the NCBI nr database or to the 140 LT viral populations, 21% had hits to unassembled LT viral concentrate reads. This suggests local adaptation to LT-specific viruses and/or undersampling of haloviral assemblages in public databases, along with successful CRISPR-mediated maintenance of viral populations at abundances low enough to preclude genomic assembly. This is the first metagenomic report evaluating widespread archaeal dynamics at the population level on short timescales in a hypersaline system.« less

  5. Virus-host and CRISPR dynamics in Archaea-dominated hypersaline Lake Tyrrell, Victoria, Australia.

    PubMed

    Emerson, Joanne B; Andrade, Karen; Thomas, Brian C; Norman, Anders; Allen, Eric E; Heidelberg, Karla B; Banfield, Jillian F

    2013-01-01

    The study of natural archaeal assemblages requires community context, namely, a concurrent assessment of the dynamics of archaeal, bacterial, and viral populations. Here, we use filter size-resolved metagenomic analyses to report the dynamics of 101 archaeal and bacterial OTUs and 140 viral populations across 17 samples collected over different timescales from 2007-2010 from Australian hypersaline Lake Tyrrell (LT). All samples were dominated by Archaea (75-95%). Archaeal, bacterial, and viral populations were found to be dynamic on timescales of months to years, and different viral assemblages were present in planktonic, relative to host-associated (active and provirus) size fractions. Analyses of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) regions indicate that both rare and abundant viruses were targeted, primarily by lower abundance hosts. Although very few spacers had hits to the NCBI nr database or to the 140 LT viral populations, 21% had hits to unassembled LT viral concentrate reads. This suggests local adaptation to LT-specific viruses and/or undersampling of haloviral assemblages in public databases, along with successful CRISPR-mediated maintenance of viral populations at abundances low enough to preclude genomic assembly. This is the first metagenomic report evaluating widespread archaeal dynamics at the population level on short timescales in a hypersaline system.

  6. Surveillance and processing of foreign DNA by the Escherichia coli CRISPR-Cas system

    PubMed Central

    Redding, Sy; Sternberg, Samuel H.; Marshall, Myles; Gibb, Bryan; Bhat, Prashant; Guegler, Chantal K.; Wiedenheft, Blake; Doudna, Jennifer A.; Greene, Eric C.

    2015-01-01

    Summary CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems protect bacteria and archaea against foreign genetic elements. In Escherichia coli, Cascade (CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense) is an RNA-guided surveillance complex that binds foreign DNA and recruits Cas3, a trans-acting nuclease-helicase for target degradation. Here we use single-molecule imaging to visualize Cascade and Cas3 binding to foreign DNA targets. Our analysis reveals two distinct pathways, dictated by the presence or absence of a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM). Binding to a protospacer flanked by a PAM recruits a nuclease-active Cas3 for degradation of short singlestranded regions of target DNA, whereas PAM mutations elicit an alternative pathway that recruits a nuclease-inactive Cas3 through a mechanism that is dependent upon the Cas1 and Cas2 proteins. These findings explain how target recognition by Cascade can elicit distinct outcomes, and supports a model for acquisition of new spacer sequences through a mechanism involving processive, ATP-dependent Cas3 translocation along foreign DNA. PMID:26522594

  7. Self-aligned quadruple patterning using spacer on spacer integration optimization for N5

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thibaut, Sophie; Raley, Angélique; Mohanty, Nihar; Kal, Subhadeep; Liu, Eric; Ko, Akiteru; O'Meara, David; Tapily, Kandabara; Biolsi, Peter

    2017-04-01

    To meet scaling requirements, the semiconductor industry has extended 193nm immersion lithography beyond its minimum pitch limitation using multiple patterning schemes such as self-aligned double patterning, self-aligned quadruple patterning and litho-etch / litho etch iterations. Those techniques have been declined in numerous options in the last few years. Spacer on spacer pitch splitting integration has been proven to show multiple advantages compared to conventional pitch splitting approach. Reducing the number of pattern transfer steps associated with sacrificial layers resulted in significant decrease of cost and an overall simplification of the double pitch split technique. While demonstrating attractive aspects, SAQP spacer on spacer flow brings challenges of its own. Namely, material set selections and etch chemistry development for adequate selectivities, mandrel shape and spacer shape engineering to improve edge placement error (EPE). In this paper we follow up and extend upon our previous learning and proceed into more details on the robustness of the integration in regards to final pattern transfer and full wafer critical dimension uniformity. Furthermore, since the number of intermediate steps is reduced, one will expect improved uniformity and pitch walking control. This assertion will be verified through a thorough pitch walking analysis.

  8. Asymmetric positioning of Cas1-2 complex and Integration Host Factor induced DNA bending guide the unidirectional homing of protospacer in CRISPR-Cas type I-E system.

    PubMed

    Yoganand, K N R; Sivathanu, R; Nimkar, Siddharth; Anand, B

    2017-01-09

    CRISPR-Cas system epitomizes prokaryote-specific quintessential adaptive defense machinery that limits the genome invasion of mobile genetic elements. It confers adaptive immunity to bacteria by capturing a protospacer fragment from invading foreign DNA, which is later inserted into the leader proximal end of CRIPSR array and serves as immunological memory to recognize recurrent invasions. The universally conserved Cas1 and Cas2 form an integration complex that is known to mediate the protospacer invasion into the CRISPR array. However, the mechanism by which this protospacer fragment gets integrated in a directional fashion into the leader proximal end is elusive. Here, we employ CRISPR/dCas9 mediated immunoprecipitation and genetic analysis to identify Integration Host Factor (IHF) as an indispensable accessory factor for spacer acquisition in Escherichia coli Further, we show that the leader region abutting the first CRISPR repeat localizes IHF and Cas1-2 complex. IHF binding to the leader region induces bending by about 120° that in turn engenders the regeneration of the cognate binding site for protospacer bound Cas1-2 complex and brings it in proximity with the first CRISPR repeat. This appears to guide Cas1-2 complex to orient the protospacer invasion towards the leader-repeat junction thus driving the integration in a polarized fashion. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  9. Targeted activation of diverse CRISPR-Cas systems for mammalian genome editing via proximal CRISPR targeting.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fuqiang; Ding, Xiao; Feng, Yongmei; Seebeck, Timothy; Jiang, Yanfang; Davis, Gregory D

    2017-04-07

    Bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems comprise diverse effector endonucleases with different targeting ranges, specificities and enzymatic properties, but many of them are inactive in mammalian cells and are thus precluded from genome-editing applications. Here we show that the type II-B FnCas9 from Francisella novicida possesses novel properties, but its nuclease function is frequently inhibited at many genomic loci in living human cells. Moreover, we develop a proximal CRISPR (termed proxy-CRISPR) targeting method that restores FnCas9 nuclease activity in a target-specific manner. We further demonstrate that this proxy-CRISPR strategy is applicable to diverse CRISPR-Cas systems, including type II-C Cas9 and type V Cpf1 systems, and can facilitate precise gene editing even between identical genomic sites within the same genome. Our findings provide a novel strategy to enable use of diverse otherwise inactive CRISPR-Cas systems for genome-editing applications and a potential path to modulate the impact of chromatin microenvironments on genome modification.

  10. Function and regulation of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) / CRISPR associated (Cas) systems.

    PubMed

    Richter, Corinna; Chang, James T; Fineran, Peter C

    2012-10-19

    Phages are the most abundant biological entities on earth and pose a constant challenge to their bacterial hosts. Thus, bacteria have evolved numerous 'innate' mechanisms of defense against phage, such as abortive infection or restriction/modification systems. In contrast, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) systems provide acquired, yet heritable, sequence-specific 'adaptive' immunity against phage and other horizontally-acquired elements, such as plasmids. Resistance is acquired following viral infection or plasmid uptake when a short sequence of the foreign genome is added to the CRISPR array. CRISPRs are then transcribed and processed, generally by CRISPR associated (Cas) proteins, into short interfering RNAs (crRNAs), which form part of a ribonucleoprotein complex. This complex guides the crRNA to the complementary invading nucleic acid and targets this for degradation. Recently, there have been rapid advances in our understanding of CRISPR/Cas systems. In this review, we will present the current model(s) of the molecular events involved in both the acquisition of immunity and interference stages and will also address recent progress in our knowledge of the regulation of CRISPR/Cas systems.

  11. Function and Regulation of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) / CRISPR Associated (Cas) Systems

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Corinna; Chang, James T.; Fineran, Peter C.

    2012-01-01

    Phages are the most abundant biological entities on earth and pose a constant challenge to their bacterial hosts. Thus, bacteria have evolved numerous ‘innate’ mechanisms of defense against phage, such as abortive infection or restriction/modification systems. In contrast, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) systems provide acquired, yet heritable, sequence-specific ‘adaptive’ immunity against phage and other horizontally-acquired elements, such as plasmids. Resistance is acquired following viral infection or plasmid uptake when a short sequence of the foreign genome is added to the CRISPR array. CRISPRs are then transcribed and processed, generally by CRISPR associated (Cas) proteins, into short interfering RNAs (crRNAs), which form part of a ribonucleoprotein complex. This complex guides the crRNA to the complementary invading nucleic acid and targets this for degradation. Recently, there have been rapid advances in our understanding of CRISPR/Cas systems. In this review, we will present the current model(s) of the molecular events involved in both the acquisition of immunity and interference stages and will also address recent progress in our knowledge of the regulation of CRISPR/Cas systems. PMID:23202464

  12. Casposons: a new superfamily of self-synthesizing DNA transposons at the origin of prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas immunity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Diverse transposable elements are abundant in genomes of cellular organisms from all three domains of life. Although transposons are often regarded as junk DNA, a growing body of evidence indicates that they are behind some of the major evolutionary innovations. With the growth in the number and diversity of sequenced genomes, previously unnoticed mobile elements continue to be discovered. Results We describe a new superfamily of archaeal and bacterial mobile elements which we denote casposons because they encode Cas1 endonuclease, a key enzyme of the CRISPR-Cas adaptive immunity systems of archaea and bacteria. The casposons share several features with self-synthesizing eukaryotic DNA transposons of the Polinton/Maverick class, including terminal inverted repeats and genes for B family DNA polymerases. However, unlike any other known mobile elements, the casposons are predicted to rely on Cas1 for integration and excision, via a mechanism similar to the integration of new spacers into CRISPR loci. We identify three distinct families of casposons that differ in their gene repertoires and evolutionary provenance of the DNA polymerases. Deep branching of the casposon-encoded endonuclease in the Cas1 phylogeny suggests that casposons played a pivotal role in the emergence of CRISPR-Cas immunity. Conclusions The casposons are a novel superfamily of mobile elements, the first family of putative self-synthesizing transposons discovered in prokaryotes. The likely contribution of capsosons to the evolution of CRISPR-Cas parallels the involvement of the RAG1 transposase in vertebrate immunoglobulin gene rearrangement, suggesting that recruitment of endonucleases from mobile elements as ready-made tools for genome manipulation is a general route of evolution of adaptive immunity. PMID:24884953

  13. Comparative genomics reveals diversified CRISPR-Cas systems of globally distributed Microcystis aeruginosa, a freshwater bloom-forming cyanobacterium

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chen; Lin, Feibi; Li, Qi; Li, Tao; Zhao, Jindong

    2015-01-01

    Microcystis aeruginosa is one of the most common and dominant bloom-forming cyanobacteria in freshwater lakes around the world. Microcystis cells can produce toxic secondary metabolites, such as microcystins, which are harmful to human health. Two M. aeruginosa strains were isolated from two highly eutrophic lakes in China and their genomes were sequenced. Comparative genomic analysis was performed with the 12 other available M. aeruginosa genomes and closely related unicellular cyanobacterium. Each genome of M. aeruginosa containing at least one clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) locus and total 71 loci were identified, suggesting it is ubiquitous in M. aeruginosa genomes. In addition to the previously reported subtype I-D cas gene sets, three CAS subtypes I-A, III-A and III-B were identified and characterized in this study. Seven types of CRISPR direct repeat have close association with CAS subtype, confirming that different and specific secondary structures of CRISPR repeats are important for the recognition, binding and process of corresponding cas gene sets. Homology search of the CRISPR spacer sequences provides a history of not only resistance to bacteriophages and plasmids known to be associated with M. aeruginosa, but also the ability to target much more exogenous genetic material in the natural environment. These adaptive and heritable defense mechanisms play a vital role in keeping genomic stability and self-maintenance by restriction of horizontal gene transfer. Maintaining genomic stability and modulating genomic plasticity are both important evolutionary strategies for M. aeruginosa in adaptation and survival in various habitats. PMID:26029174

  14. Comparative genomics reveals diversified CRISPR-Cas systems of globally distributed Microcystis aeruginosa, a freshwater bloom-forming cyanobacterium.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chen; Lin, Feibi; Li, Qi; Li, Tao; Zhao, Jindong

    2015-01-01

    Microcystis aeruginosa is one of the most common and dominant bloom-forming cyanobacteria in freshwater lakes around the world. Microcystis cells can produce toxic secondary metabolites, such as microcystins, which are harmful to human health. Two M. aeruginosa strains were isolated from two highly eutrophic lakes in China and their genomes were sequenced. Comparative genomic analysis was performed with the 12 other available M. aeruginosa genomes and closely related unicellular cyanobacterium. Each genome of M. aeruginosa containing at least one clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) locus and total 71 loci were identified, suggesting it is ubiquitous in M. aeruginosa genomes. In addition to the previously reported subtype I-D cas gene sets, three CAS subtypes I-A, III-A and III-B were identified and characterized in this study. Seven types of CRISPR direct repeat have close association with CAS subtype, confirming that different and specific secondary structures of CRISPR repeats are important for the recognition, binding and process of corresponding cas gene sets. Homology search of the CRISPR spacer sequences provides a history of not only resistance to bacteriophages and plasmids known to be associated with M. aeruginosa, but also the ability to target much more exogenous genetic material in the natural environment. These adaptive and heritable defense mechanisms play a vital role in keeping genomic stability and self-maintenance by restriction of horizontal gene transfer. Maintaining genomic stability and modulating genomic plasticity are both important evolutionary strategies for M. aeruginosa in adaptation and survival in various habitats.

  15. CRISPR as a driving force: the Model T of biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Mariscal, Carlos; Petropanagos, Angel

    2016-06-01

    The CRISPR system for gene editing can break, repair, and replace targeted sections of DNA. Although CRISPR gene editing has important therapeutic potential, it raises several ethical concerns. Some bioethicists worry CRISPR is a prelude to a dystopian future, while others maintain it should not be feared because it is analogous to past biotechnologies. In the scientific literature, CRISPR is often discussed as a revolutionary technology. In this paper we unpack the framing of CRISPR as a revolutionary technology and contrast it with framing it as a value-threatening biotechnology or business-as-usual. By drawing on a comparison between CRISPR and the Ford Model T, we argue CRISPR is revolutionary as a product, process, and as a force for social change. This characterization of CRISPR offers important conceptual clarity to the existing debates surrounding CRISPR. In particular, conceptualizing CRISPR as a revolutionary technology structures regulatory goals with respect to this new technology. Revolutionary technologies have characteristic patterns of implementation, entrenchment, and social impact. As such, early identification of technologies as revolutionary may help construct more nuanced and effective ethical frameworks for public policy.

  16. Engineered CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases with altered PAM specificities.

    PubMed

    Kleinstiver, Benjamin P; Prew, Michelle S; Tsai, Shengdar Q; Topkar, Ved V; Nguyen, Nhu T; Zheng, Zongli; Gonzales, Andrew P W; Li, Zhuyun; Peterson, Randall T; Yeh, Jing-Ruey Joanna; Aryee, Martin J; Joung, J Keith

    2015-07-23

    Although CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases are widely used for genome editing, the range of sequences that Cas9 can recognize is constrained by the need for a specific protospacer adjacent motif (PAM). As a result, it can often be difficult to target double-stranded breaks (DSBs) with the precision that is necessary for various genome-editing applications. The ability to engineer Cas9 derivatives with purposefully altered PAM specificities would address this limitation. Here we show that the commonly used Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9) can be modified to recognize alternative PAM sequences using structural information, bacterial selection-based directed evolution, and combinatorial design. These altered PAM specificity variants enable robust editing of endogenous gene sites in zebrafish and human cells not currently targetable by wild-type SpCas9, and their genome-wide specificities are comparable to wild-type SpCas9 as judged by GUIDE-seq analysis. In addition, we identify and characterize another SpCas9 variant that exhibits improved specificity in human cells, possessing better discrimination against off-target sites with non-canonical NAG and NGA PAMs and/or mismatched spacers. We also find that two smaller-size Cas9 orthologues, Streptococcus thermophilus Cas9 (St1Cas9) and Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 (SaCas9), function efficiently in the bacterial selection systems and in human cells, suggesting that our engineering strategies could be extended to Cas9s from other species. Our findings provide broadly useful SpCas9 variants and, more importantly, establish the feasibility of engineering a wide range of Cas9s with altered and improved PAM specificities.

  17. Overview of CRISPR-Cas9 Biology.

    PubMed

    Ratner, Hannah K; Sampson, Timothy R; Weiss, David S

    2016-12-01

    Prokaryotes use diverse strategies to improve fitness in the face of different environmental threats and stresses, including those posed by mobile genetic elements (e.g., bacteriophages and plasmids). To defend against these elements, many bacteria and archaea use elegant, RNA-directed, nucleic acid-targeting adaptive restriction machineries called CRISPR -: Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems. While providing an effective defense against foreign genetic elements, these systems have also been observed to play critical roles in regulating bacterial physiology during environmental stress. Increasingly, CRISPR-Cas systems, in particular the Type II systems containing the Cas9 endonuclease, have been exploited for their ability to bind desired nucleic acid sequences, as well as direct sequence-specific cleavage of their targets. Cas9-mediated genome engineering is transcending biological research as a versatile and portable platform for manipulating genetic content in myriad systems. Here, we present a systematic overview of CRISPR-Cas history and biology, highlighting the revolutionary tools derived from these systems, which greatly expand the molecular biologists' toolkit.

  18. Precision genome editing in the CRISPR era.

    PubMed

    Salsman, Jayme; Dellaire, Graham

    2017-04-01

    With the introduction of precision genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, we have entered a new era of genetic engineering and gene therapy. With RNA-guided endonucleases, such as Cas9, it is possible to engineer DNA double strand breaks (DSB) at specific genomic loci. DSB repair by the error-prone non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway can disrupt a target gene by generating insertions and deletions. Alternatively, Cas9-mediated DSBs can be repaired by homology-directed repair (HDR) using an homologous DNA repair template, thus allowing precise gene editing by incorporating genetic changes into the repair template. HDR can introduce gene sequences for protein epitope tags, delete genes, make point mutations, or alter enhancer and promoter activities. In anticipation of adapting this technology for gene therapy in human somatic cells, much focus has been placed on increasing the fidelity of CRISPR-Cas9 and increasing HDR efficiency to improve precision genome editing. In this review, we will discuss applications of CRISPR technology for gene inactivation and genome editing with a focus on approaches to enhancing CRISPR-Cas9-mediated HDR for the generation of cell and animal models, and conclude with a discussion of recent advances and challenges towards the application of this technology for gene therapy in humans.

  19. CRISPR Meets CAR T-cell Therapy.

    PubMed

    2017-03-21

    Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, researchers have devised a method to deliver a CAR gene to a specific locus, TRAC, in T cells. This targeted approach yielded therapeutic cells that were more potent even at low doses; in a mouse model of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, they outperformed CAR T cells created with a randomly integrating retroviral vector.

  20. Boosting plant immunity with CRISPR/Cas.

    PubMed

    Chaparro-Garcia, Angela; Kamoun, Sophien; Nekrasov, Vladimir

    2015-11-19

    CRISPR/Cas has recently been transferred to plants to make them resistant to geminiviruses, a damaging family of DNA viruses. We discuss the potential and the limitations of this method.See related Research: http://www.genomebiology.com/2015/16/1/238.

  1. A CRISPR method for genome engineering

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Royce

    2014-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) RNA-guided adaptive immune systems that protect bacteria and archaea from infection by viruses are now being routinely repurposed for genome engineering in a wide variety of cell types and multicellular organisms. PMID:24592315

  2. NEUTRONIC REACTOR SHIELD AND SPACER CONSTRUCTION

    DOEpatents

    Wigner, E.P.; Ohlinger, L.A.

    1958-11-18

    Reactors of the heterogeneous, graphite moderated, fluid cooled type and shielding and spacing plugs for the coolant channels thereof are reported. In this design, the coolant passages extend horizontally through the moderator structure, accommodating the fuel elements in abutting end-to-end relationship, and have access openings through the outer shield at one face of the reactor to facilitate loading of the fuel elements. In the outer ends of the channels which extend through the shields are provided spacers and shielding plugs designed to offer minimal reslstance to coolant fluid flow while preventing emanation of harmful radiation through the access openings when closed between loadings.

  3. CRISPR-RT: A web application for designing CRISPR-C2c2 crRNA with improved target specificity.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Houxiang; Richmond, Emily; Liang, Chun

    2017-09-14

    CRISPR-Cas systems have been successfully applied in genome editing. Recently, the CRISPR-C2c2 system has been reported as a tool for RNA editing. Here we describe CRISPR-RT (CRISPR RNA-Targeting), the first web application to help biologists design the crRNA with improved target specificity for the CRISPR-C2c2 system. CRISPR-RT allows users to set up a wide range of parameters, making it highly flexible for current and future research in CRISPR-based RNA editing. CRISPR-RT covers major model organisms and can be easily extended to cover other species. CRISPR-RT will empower researchers in RNA editing. Freely available at http://bioinfolab.miamioh.edu/CRISPR-RT . Supplementary data are available in Supplemental.Info.pdf.

  4. Distance-dependent plasmon-enhanced fluorescence of upconversion nanoparticles using polyelectrolyte multilayers as tunable spacers.

    PubMed

    Feng, Ai Ling; You, Min Li; Tian, Limei; Singamaneni, Srikanth; Liu, Ming; Duan, Zhenfeng; Lu, Tian Jian; Xu, Feng; Lin, Min

    2015-01-14

    Lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) have attracted widespread interests in bioapplications due to their unique optical properties by converting near infrared excitation to visible emission. However, relatively low quantum yield prompts a need for developing methods for fluorescence enhancement. Plasmon nanostructures are known to efficiently enhance fluorescence of the surrounding fluorophores by acting as nanoantennae to focus electric field into nano-volume. Here, we reported a novel plasmon-enhanced fluorescence system in which the distance between UCNPs and nanoantennae (gold nanorods, AuNRs) was precisely tuned by using layer-by-layer assembled polyelectrolyte multilayers as spacers. By modulating the aspect ratio of AuNRs, localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) wavelength at 980 nm was obtained, matching the native excitation of UCNPs resulting in maximum enhancement of 22.6-fold with 8 nm spacer thickness. These findings provide a unique platform for exploring hybrid nanostructures composed of UCNPs and plasmonic nanostructures in bioimaging applications.

  5. The Discovery, Mechanisms, and Evolutionary Impact of Anti-CRISPRs.

    PubMed

    Borges, Adair L; Davidson, Alan R; Bondy-Denomy, Joseph

    2017-09-29

    Bacteria and archaea use CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems to defend themselves from infection by bacteriophages (phages). These RNA-guided nucleases are powerful weapons in the fight against foreign DNA, such as phages and plasmids, as well as a revolutionary gene editing tool. Phages are not passive bystanders in their interactions with CRISPR-Cas systems, however; recent discoveries have described phage genes that inhibit CRISPR-Cas function. More than 20 protein families, previously of unknown function, have been ascribed anti-CRISPR function. Here, we discuss how these CRISPR-Cas inhibitors were discovered and their modes of action were elucidated. We also consider the potential impact of anti-CRISPRs on bacterial and phage evolution. Finally, we speculate about the future of this field.

  6. CRISPR-Cas systems: Prokaryotes upgrade to adaptive immunity.

    PubMed

    Barrangou, Rodolphe; Marraffini, Luciano A

    2014-04-24

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), and associated proteins (Cas) comprise the CRISPR-Cas system, which confers adaptive immunity against exogenic elements in many bacteria and most archaea. CRISPR-mediated immunization occurs through the uptake of DNA from invasive genetic elements such as plasmids and viruses, followed by its integration into CRISPR loci. These loci are subsequently transcribed and processed into small interfering RNAs that guide nucleases for specific cleavage of complementary sequences. Conceptually, CRISPR-Cas shares functional features with the mammalian adaptive immune system, while also exhibiting characteristics of Lamarckian evolution. Because immune markers spliced from exogenous agents are integrated iteratively in CRISPR loci, they constitute a genetic record of vaccination events and reflect environmental conditions and changes over time. Cas endonucleases, which can be reprogrammed by small guide RNAs have shown unprecedented potential and flexibility for genome editing and can be repurposed for numerous DNA targeting applications including transcriptional control.

  7. CRISPR-Cas Technologies and Applications in Food Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Stout, Emily; Klaenhammer, Todd; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2017-02-28

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins form adaptive immune systems that occur in many bacteria and most archaea. In addition to protecting bacteria from phages and other invasive mobile genetic elements, CRISPR-Cas molecular machines can be repurposed as tool kits for applications relevant to the food industry. A primary concern of the food industry has long been the proper management of food-related bacteria, with a focus on both enhancing the outcomes of beneficial microorganisms such as starter cultures and probiotics and limiting the presence of detrimental organisms such as pathogens and spoilage microorganisms. This review introduces CRISPR-Cas as a novel set of technologies to manage food bacteria and offers insights into CRISPR-Cas biology. It primarily focuses on the applications of CRISPR-Cas systems and tools in starter cultures and probiotics, encompassing strain-typing, phage resistance, plasmid vaccination, genome editing, and antimicrobial activity.

  8. CRISPRdigger: detecting CRISPRs with better direct repeat annotations

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Ruiquan; Mai, Guoqin; Wang, Pu; Zhou, Manli; Luo, Youxi; Cai, Yunpeng; Zhou, Fengfeng

    2016-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) are important genetic elements in many bacterial and archaeal genomes, and play a key role in prokaryote immune systems’ fight against invasive foreign elements. The CRISPR system has also been engineered to facilitate target gene editing in eukaryotic genomes. Using the common features of mis-annotated CRISPRs in prokaryotic genomes, this study proposed an accurate de novo CRISPR annotation program CRISPRdigger, which can take a partially assembled genome as its input. A comprehensive comparison with the three existing programs demonstrated that CRISPRdigger can recover more Direct Repeats (DRs) for CRISPRs and achieve a higher accuracy for a query genome. The program was implemented by Perl and all the parameters had default values, so that a user could annotate CRISPRs in a query genome by supplying only a genome sequence in the FASTA format. All the supplementary data are available at http://www.healthinformaticslab.org/supp/. PMID:27596864

  9. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 in plant biology.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xuan; Wu, Surui; Xu, Jiao; Sui, Chun; Wei, Jianhe

    2017-05-01

    The CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated proteins) system was first identified in bacteria and archaea and can degrade exogenous substrates. It was developed as a gene editing technology in 2013. Over the subsequent years, it has received extensive attention owing to its easy manipulation, high efficiency, and wide application in gene mutation and transcriptional regulation in mammals and plants. The process of CRISPR/Cas is optimized constantly and its application has also expanded dramatically. Therefore, CRISPR/Cas is considered a revolutionary technology in plant biology. Here, we introduce the mechanism of the type II CRISPR/Cas called CRISPR/Cas9, update its recent advances in various applications in plants, and discuss its future prospects to provide an argument for its use in the study of medicinal plants.

  10. CRISPR-Cas systems: prokaryotes upgrade to adaptive immunity

    PubMed Central

    Barrangou, Rodolphe; Marraffini, Luciano A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), and associated proteins (Cas) comprise the CRISPR-Cas system, which confers adaptive immunity against exogenic elements in many bacteria and most archaea. CRISPR-mediated immunization occurs through the uptake of DNA from invasive genetic elements such as plasmids and viruses, followed by its integration into CRISPR loci. These loci are subsequently transcribed and processed into small interfering RNAs that guide nucleases for specific cleavage of complementary sequences. Conceptually, CRISPR-Cas shares functional features with the mammalian adaptive immune system, while also exhibiting characteristics of Lamarckian evolution. Because immune markers spliced from exogenous agents are integrated iteratively in CRISPR loci, they constitute a genetic record of vaccination events and reflect environmental conditions and changes over time. Cas endonucleases, which can be reprogrammed by small guide RNAs have shown unprecedented potential and flexibility for genome editing, and can be repurposed for numerous DNA targeting applications including transcriptional control. PMID:24766887

  11. Identification of genomic sites for CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing in the Vitis vinifera genome.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi; Liu, Xianju; Ren, Chong; Zhong, Gan-Yuan; Yang, Long; Li, Shaohua; Liang, Zhenchang

    2016-04-21

    CRISPR/Cas9 has been recently demonstrated as an effective and popular genome editing tool for modifying genomes of humans, animals, microorganisms, and plants. Success of such genome editing is highly dependent on the availability of suitable target sites in the genomes to be edited. Many specific target sites for CRISPR/Cas9 have been computationally identified for several annual model and crop species, but such sites have not been reported for perennial, woody fruit species. In this study, we identified and characterized five types of CRISPR/Cas9 target sites in the widely cultivated grape species Vitis vinifera and developed a user-friendly database for editing grape genomes in the future. A total of 35,767,960 potential CRISPR/Cas9 target sites were identified from grape genomes in this study. Among them, 22,597,817 target sites were mapped to specific genomic locations and 7,269,788 were found to be highly specific. Protospacers and PAMs were found to distribute uniformly and abundantly in the grape genomes. They were present in all the structural elements of genes with the coding region having the highest abundance. Five PAM types, TGG, AGG, GGG, CGG and NGG, were observed. With the exception of the NGG type, they were abundantly present in the grape genomes. Synteny analysis of similar genes revealed that the synteny of protospacers matched the synteny of homologous genes. A user-friendly database containing protospacers and detailed information of the sites was developed and is available for public use at the Grape-CRISPR website ( http://biodb.sdau.edu.cn/gc/index.html ). Grape genomes harbour millions of potential CRISPR/Cas9 target sites. These sites are widely distributed among and within chromosomes with predominant abundance in the coding regions of genes. We developed a publicly-accessible Grape-CRISPR database for facilitating the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system as a genome editing tool for functional studies and molecular breeding of grapes. Among

  12. Diversity of CRISPR loci and virulence genes in pathogenic Escherichia coli isolates from various sources.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yun; Yin, Shuang; Dudley, Edward G; Cutter, Catherine N

    2015-07-02

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, including those of O157:H7 and the "big six" serogroups (i.e., O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) are food-borne pathogens that pose a serious health threat to humans. Ruminants, especially cattle, are a major reservoir for O157 and non-O157 STEC. In the present study, 115 E. coli strains isolated from small and very small beef processing plants were screened for virulence genes (stx1, stx2, eae) using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thirteen (11.3%) of the 115 isolates tested positive for stx1, stx2, or eae genes, but only 4 (3.5%) tested positive for either stx1 or stx2. A multiplex PCR reaction targeting eight O-serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O113, O121, O145, O157) identified 12 isolates as O26, O103, O111, or O145, with E. coli O26 being the most predominant serogroup (61.5%). The thirteen isolates were further analyzed using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) subtyping. Consistent with previous studies, CRISPR alleles from strains of the same serogroup were similar in their spacer content and order, regardless of the isolation source. A completely different CRISPR allele was observed in one isolate ("7-J") which exhibited a different O-serogroup (O78). Our results confirmed previous findings that CRISPR loci are conserved among phylogenetically-related strains. In addition, 8 E. coli O26 isolates and a collection of 42 E. coli O26 isolates were screened for 12 enterohemorrhagic E. coli-specific genes. Seven genes (ECs848-Hypothetical Protein, ECs2226-Hypothetical Protein, ECs3857-nleB, ECs3858-Hypothetical Protein, ECs4552-escF, ECs4553-Hypothetical Protein, and ECs4557-sepL) were found in all 50 isolates. An additional 5 genes (ECs1322-ureA urease subunit γ, ECs1323-ureB urease subunit β, ECs1326-ureF, ECs1561-Hypothetical Protein, and ECs1568-Hypothetical Protein) were found to be highly prevalent in isolates from human sources, while lower in

  13. Persisting viral sequences shape microbial CRISPR-based immunity.

    PubMed

    Weinberger, Ariel D; Sun, Christine L; Pluciński, Mateusz M; Denef, Vincent J; Thomas, Brian C; Horvath, Philippe; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Gilmore, Michael S; Getz, Wayne M; Banfield, Jillian F

    2012-01-01

    Well-studied innate immune systems exist throughout bacteria and archaea, but a more recently discovered genomic locus may offer prokaryotes surprising immunological adaptability. Mediated by a cassette-like genomic locus termed Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), the microbial adaptive immune system differs from its eukaryotic immune analogues by incorporating new immunities unidirectionally. CRISPR thus stores genomically recoverable timelines of virus-host coevolution in natural organisms refractory to laboratory cultivation. Here we combined a population genetic mathematical model of CRISPR-virus coevolution with six years of metagenomic sequencing to link the recoverable genomic dynamics of CRISPR loci to the unknown population dynamics of virus and host in natural communities. Metagenomic reconstructions in an acid-mine drainage system document CRISPR loci conserving ancestral immune elements to the base-pair across thousands of microbial generations. This 'trailer-end conservation' occurs despite rapid viral mutation and despite rapid prokaryotic genomic deletion. The trailer-ends of many reconstructed CRISPR loci are also largely identical across a population. 'Trailer-end clonality' occurs despite predictions of host immunological diversity due to negative frequency dependent selection (kill the winner dynamics). Statistical clustering and model simulations explain this lack of diversity by capturing rapid selective sweeps by highly immune CRISPR lineages. Potentially explaining 'trailer-end conservation,' we record the first example of a viral bloom overwhelming a CRISPR system. The polyclonal viruses bloom even though they share sequences previously targeted by host CRISPR loci. Simulations show how increasing random genomic deletions in CRISPR loci purges immunological controls on long-lived viral sequences, allowing polyclonal viruses to bloom and depressing host fitness. Our results thus link documented patterns of

  14. Properties of cellulase immobilized on agarose gel with spacer

    SciTech Connect

    Chim-anage, P.; Kashiwagi, Y.; Magae, Y.; Ohta, T.; Sasaki, T.

    1986-12-01

    Cellulase produced by fungus Trichoderma viride was immobilized on agarose beads (Sepharose 4B) activated by cyanogen bromide and also on activated agarose beads that contained spacer arm (activated Ch-Sepharose 4B and Affi-Gel 15). The CMCase activity retained by immobilized cellulase on activated Sepharose containing the spacer tended to be higher than that immobilized without spacer, although the extent of protein immobilization was lower. Also, the higher substrate specificity for cellulase immobilized on beads with spacer was obtained for cellobiose, acid-swollen cellulose, or cellulose powder. The hydrolysis product from their substrates was mainly glucose. 10 references.

  15. The development process for a new spacer device.

    PubMed

    Watson, Paul

    The British Thoracic Society and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network recommend that children up to the age of five should use a pressurised metered dose inhaler with a spacer device to deliver inhaled steroids. However, large-volume spacers can be cumbersome, which is why I designed a smaller, more portable device to encourage spacer use. After prototypes were made, the idea was presented to the local NHS innovations department. With its advice and assistance, a collapsible spacer device has been developed. This article describes the product development process.

  16. Pooled CRISPR screening with single-cell transcriptome readout.

    PubMed

    Datlinger, Paul; Rendeiro, André F; Schmidl, Christian; Krausgruber, Thomas; Traxler, Peter; Klughammer, Johanna; Schuster, Linda C; Kuchler, Amelie; Alpar, Donat; Bock, Christoph

    2017-03-01

    CRISPR-based genetic screens are accelerating biological discovery, but current methods have inherent limitations. Widely used pooled screens are restricted to simple readouts including cell proliferation and sortable marker proteins. Arrayed screens allow for comprehensive molecular readouts such as transcriptome profiling, but at much lower throughput. Here we combine pooled CRISPR screening with single-cell RNA sequencing into a broadly applicable workflow, directly linking guide RNA expression to transcriptome responses in thousands of individual cells. Our method for CRISPR droplet sequencing (CROP-seq) enables pooled CRISPR screens with single-cell transcriptome resolution, which will facilitate high-throughput functional dissection of complex regulatory mechanisms and heterogeneous cell populations.

  17. Naturally Occurring Off-Switches for CRISPR-Cas9.

    PubMed

    Pawluk, April; Amrani, Nadia; Zhang, Yan; Garcia, Bianca; Hidalgo-Reyes, Yurima; Lee, Jooyoung; Edraki, Alireza; Shah, Megha; Sontheimer, Erik J; Maxwell, Karen L; Davidson, Alan R

    2016-12-15

    CRISPR-Cas9 technology would be enhanced by the ability to inhibit Cas9 function spatially, temporally, or conditionally. Previously, we discovered small proteins encoded by bacteriophages that inhibit the CRISPR-Cas systems of their host bacteria. These "anti-CRISPRs" were specific to type I CRISPR-Cas systems that do not employ the Cas9 protein. We posited that nature would also yield Cas9 inhibitors in response to the evolutionary arms race between bacteriophages and their hosts. Here, we report the discovery of three distinct families of anti-CRISPRs that specifically inhibit the CRISPR-Cas9 system of Neisseria meningitidis. We show that these proteins bind directly to N. meningitidis Cas9 (NmeCas9) and can be used as potent inhibitors of genome editing by this system in human cells. These anti-CRISPR proteins now enable "off-switches" for CRISPR-Cas9 activity and provide a genetically encodable means to inhibit CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in eukaryotes. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Engineered CRISPR Systems for Next Generation Gene Therapies.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Michael; Moghadam, Farzaneh; Ebrahimkhani, Mo R; Kiani, Samira

    2017-09-15

    An ideal in vivo gene therapy platform provides safe, reprogrammable, and precise strategies which modulate cell and tissue gene regulatory networks with a high temporal and spatial resolution. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), a bacterial adoptive immune system, and its CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), have gained attention for the ability to target and modify DNA sequences on demand with unprecedented flexibility and precision. The precision and programmability of Cas9 is derived from its complexation with a guide-RNA (gRNA) that is complementary to a desired genomic sequence. CRISPR systems open-up widespread applications including genetic disease modeling, functional screens, and synthetic gene regulation. The plausibility of in vivo genetic engineering using CRISPR has garnered significant traction as a next generation in vivo therapeutic. However, there are hurdles that need to be addressed before CRISPR-based strategies are fully implemented. Some key issues center on the controllability of the CRISPR platform, including minimizing genomic-off target effects and maximizing in vivo gene editing efficiency, in vivo cellular delivery, and spatial-temporal regulation. The modifiable components of CRISPR systems: Cas9 protein, gRNA, delivery platform, and the form of CRISPR system delivered (DNA, RNA, or ribonucleoprotein) have recently been engineered independently to design a better genome engineering toolbox. This review focuses on evaluating CRISPR potential as a next generation in vivo gene therapy platform and discusses bioengineering advancements that can address challenges associated with clinical translation of this emerging technology.

  19. Application of CRISPR-Cas9 in eye disease.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wenyi; Tang, Luosheng; D'Amore, Patricia A; Lei, Hetian

    2017-08-01

    The system of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated nuclease (Cas)9 is an effective instrument for revising the genome with great accuracy. This system has been widely employed to generate mutants in genomes from plants to human cells. Rapid improvements in Cas9 specificity in eukaryotic cells have opened great potential for the use of this technology as a therapeutic. Herein, we summarize the recent advancements of CRISPR-Cas9 use in research on human cells and animal models, and outline a basic and clinical pipeline for CRISPR-Cas9-based treatments of genetic eye diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Structure of the archaeal Cascade subunit Csa5: relating the small subunits of CRISPR effector complexes.

    PubMed

    Reeks, Judith; Graham, Shirley; Anderson, Linzi; Liu, Huanting; White, Malcolm F; Naismith, James H

    2013-05-01

    The Cascade complex for CRISPR-mediated antiviral immunity uses CRISPR RNA (crRNA) to target invading DNA species from mobile elements such as viruses, leading to their destruction. The core of the Cascade effector complex consists of the Cas5 and Cas7 subunits, which are widely conserved in prokaryotes. Cas7 binds crRNA and forms the helical backbone of Cascade. Many archaea encode a version of the Cascade complex (denoted Type I-A) that includes a Csa5 (or small) subunit, which interacts weakly with the core proteins. Here, we report the crystal structure of the Csa5 protein from Sulfolobus solfataricus. Csa5 comprises a conserved α-helical domain with a small insertion consisting of a weakly conserved β-strand domain. In the crystal, the Csa5 monomers have multimerized into infinite helical threads. At each interface is a strictly conserved intersubunit salt bridge, deletion of which disrupts multimerization. Structural analysis indicates a shared evolutionary history among the small subunits of the CRISPR effector complexes. The same α-helical domain is found in the C-terminal domain of Cse2 (from Type I-E Cascade), while the N-terminal domain of Cse2 is found in Cmr5 of the CMR (Type III-B) effector complex. As Cmr5 shares no match with Csa5, two possibilities present themselves: selective domain loss from an ancestral Cse2 to create two new subfamilies or domain fusion of two separate families to create a new Cse2 family. A definitive answer awaits structural studies of further small subunits from other CRISPR effector complexes.

  1. High-throughput gene targeting and phenotyping in zebrafish using CRISPR/Cas9

    PubMed Central

    Varshney, Gaurav K.; Pei, Wuhong; LaFave, Matthew C.; Idol, Jennifer; Xu, Lisha; Gallardo, Viviana; Carrington, Blake; Bishop, Kevin; Jones, MaryPat; Li, Mingyu; Harper, Ursula; Huang, Sunny C.; Prakash, Anupam; Chen, Wenbiao; Sood, Raman; Ledin, Johan; Burgess, Shawn M.

    2015-01-01

    The use of CRISPR/Cas9 as a genome-editing tool in various model organisms has radically changed targeted mutagenesis. Here, we present a high-throughput targeted mutagenesis pipeline using CRISPR/Cas9 technology in zebrafish that will make possible both saturation mutagenesis of the genome and large-scale phenotyping efforts. We describe a cloning-free single-guide RNA (sgRNA) synthesis, coupled with streamlined mutant identification methods utilizing fluorescent PCR and multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing. We report germline transmission data from 162 loci targeting 83 genes in the zebrafish genome, in which we obtained a 99% success rate for generating mutations and an average germline transmission rate of 28%. We verified 678 unique alleles from 58 genes by high-throughput sequencing. We demonstrate that our method can be used for efficient multiplexed gene targeting. We also demonstrate that phenotyping can be done in the F1 generation by inbreeding two injected founder fish, significantly reducing animal husbandry and time. This study compares germline transmission data from CRISPR/Cas9 with those of TALENs and ZFNs and shows that efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9 is sixfold more efficient than other techniques. We show that the majority of published “rules” for efficient sgRNA design do not effectively predict germline transmission rates in zebrafish, with the exception of a GG or GA dinucleotide genomic match at the 5′ end of the sgRNA. Finally, we show that predicted off-target mutagenesis is of low concern for in vivo genetic studies. PMID:26048245

  2. Development of an Intelligent Spacer Data Logger System.

    PubMed

    O'Callaghan, Chris; Smith, Nicholas J; Barry, Peter W; Denyer, John

    2017-08-28

    Although delivery of drugs from pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) via spacer devices is widespread it cannot be assumed that patients take their medication as prescribed or use their spacer appropriately. We developed a Spacer Data Logger device to record patient adherence and whether patients had shaken the pMDI, actuated it soon after shaking, and inhaled a sufficient volume from it. We report an assessment of the Spacer Data Logger to measure and record that the pMDI was adequately shaken, the time to actuation, and the volume "inhaled" from the spacer up to 26 seconds after actuation. The effect of a delay in actuation following shaking on the dose available for inhalation from the spacer and the effect of a delay in extraction of aerosol from the spacer were assessed using different strengths of beclomethasone dipropionate (50 and 100 μg) and fluticasone propionate (50, 125 and 250 μg). The volumes measured by the Spacer Data Logger were in close agreement with the reference volumes of four simulated breathing patterns. A delay between shaking and actuating the pMDI resulted in a significant increase in the dose available for inhalation after only 4 seconds for the 50 and 250 μg strengths of fluticasone propionate pMDIs (p = 0.004 and p < 0.001, respectively). A delay between actuation of the drug into the spacer and "inhalation" of aerosol from the spacer also resulted in a steady decline in the dose available from the spacer (p < 0.0001). These results confirmed the importance of using the pMDI spacer correctly by actuating directly after shaking and inhaling the aerosol from the spacer as soon after actuation as possible to optimize the dose available for inhalation. The Spacer Data Logger should be a useful tool to determine adherence to and "optimum" use of pMDI spacers in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  3. Green listed-a CRISPR screen tool.

    PubMed

    Panda, Sudeepta Kumar; Boddul, Sanjay V; Jiménez-Andrade, Guillermina Yanek; Jiang, Long; Kasza, Zsolt; Fernandez-Ricaud, Luciano; Wermeling, Fredrik

    2017-04-01

    Genome editing using versions of the bacterial CRISPR/Cas9 system can be used to probe the function of selected genes in any organism. Green Listed is a web-based tool that rapidly designs custom CRISPR screens targeting sets of genes defined by the user. It could thus be used to design screens targeting for example all genes differentially expressed during a specific stimuli or all genes related to a specific pathway or function, as well as to generate targeted secondary screens following a large-scale screen. The software, including a demo function as well as explanatory texts and videos, is available through greenlisted.cmm.ki.se . fredrik.wermeling@ki.se.

  4. Mask specification guidelines in spacer patterning technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashimoto, Kohji; Mukai, Hidefumi; Miyoshi, Seiro; Yamaguchi, Shinji; Mashita, Hiromitsu; Kobayashi, Yuuji; Kawano, Kenji; Hirano, Takashi

    2008-11-01

    We have studied both the mask CD specification and the mask defect specification for spacer patterning technology (SPT). SPT has the possibility of extending optical lithography to below 40nm half-pitch devices. Since SPT necessitates somewhat more complicated wafer process flow, the CD error and mask defect printability on wafers involve more process factors compared with conventional single-exposure process (SEP). This feature of SPT implies that it is very important to determine mask-related specifications for SPT in order to select high-end mask fabrication strategies; those are for mask writing tools, mask process development, materials, inspection tools, and so on. Our experimental studies reveal that both mask CD specification and mask defect specification are somehow relaxed from those in ITRS2007. This is most likely because SPT reduces mask CD error enhanced factor (MEF) and the reduction of line-width roughness (LWR).

  5. Medpor lower eyelid spacer: does it biointegrate?

    PubMed

    Mavrikakis, Ioannis; Francis, Nick; Poitelea, Cornelia; Parkin, Ben; Brittain, Paul; Olver, Jane

    2009-01-01

    To report the histopathologic findings of explanted Medpor lower eyelid spacers (LES) in complicated cases. Four cases of lower eyelid retraction due to thyroid orbitopathy (n = 2), facial nerve palsy (n = 1), and post-enucleation socket syndrome (n = 1) were treated with Medpor LES. All implants were removed between 6 months to 2 years following their original insertion due to exposure, poor stability, or contour. Histopathology of the implants showed fibrosis and vascularization although clinically, at the time of removal, did not appear vascularized. In addition, immunohistochemistry was positive for Factor VIII related antigen and CD34, thus highlighting the presence of vessels in the pores and around the implant. To our knowledge, we are the first to report histopathologic findings of explanted high-density porous polyethylene implants from the lower eyelid in humans. Although this study shows that Medpor LES does biointegrate, we advocate using it sparingly due to associated complications such as exposure, poor stability, and contour.

  6. Annotation and Classification of CRISPR-Cas Systems.

    PubMed

    Makarova, Kira S; Koonin, Eugene V

    2015-01-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas (CRISPR-associated proteins) is a prokaryotic adaptive immune system that is represented in most archaea and many bacteria. Among the currently known prokaryotic defense systems, the CRISPR-Cas genomic loci show unprecedented complexity and diversity. Classification of CRISPR-Cas variants that would capture their evolutionary relationships to the maximum possible extent is essential for comparative genomic and functional characterization of this theoretically and practically important system of adaptive immunity. To this end, a multipronged approach has been developed that combines phylogenetic analysis of the conserved Cas proteins with comparison of gene repertoires and arrangements in CRISPR-Cas loci. This approach led to the current classification of CRISPR-Cas systems into three distinct types and ten subtypes for each of which signature genes have been identified. Comparative genomic analysis of the CRISPR-Cas systems in new archaeal and bacterial genomes performed over the 3 years elapsed since the development of this classification makes it clear that new types and subtypes of CRISPR-Cas need to be introduced. Moreover, this classification system captures only part of the complexity of CRISPR-Cas organization and evolution, due to the intrinsic modularity and evolutionary mobility of these immunity systems, resulting in numerous recombinant variants. Moreover, most of the cas genes evolve rapidly, complicating the family assignment for many Cas proteins and the use of family profiles for the recognition of CRISPR-Cas subtype signatures. Further progress in the comparative analysis of CRISPR-Cas systems requires integration of the most sensitive sequence comparison tools, protein structure comparison, and refined approaches for comparison of gene neighborhoods.

  7. [First use of CRISPR for gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Jordan, Bertrand

    2016-11-01

    Two clinical trials using CRISPR technology to engineer the T cells of cancer patients by inactivating the gene for immune checkpoint molecule PD-1 are (almost) underway, one in the USA and the other in China. The less sophisticated Chinese trial seems slated to begin first, in part because of very speedy approval ; it may however trigger autoimmune reactions that could be very serious. © 2016 médecine/sciences – Inserm.

  8. Targeting drugs to the airways: The role of spacer devices.

    PubMed

    Lavorini, Federico; Fontana, Giovanni A

    2009-01-01

    Spacer devices are inhalation aids of varying dimension and complexity, specifically designed to overcome problems with the use of pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs). The aim of this review is to examine the current understanding about these inhalation devices and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. The pertinent literature concerning the characteristics and effects of spacers on delivery and lung deposition of inhaled medications, as well as their clinical efficacy in patients with reversible airway obstruction, is examined. Spacers minimise problems of poor inhalation technique with pMDI, reduce oropharyngeal deposition and increase lung deposition. Spacers improve the clinical effect of inhaled medications, especially in patients unable to use a pMDI properly. Compared to both pMDIs and dry-powder inhalers, spacers may increase the response to beta-adrenergic bronchodilators, even in patients with correct inhalation technique. A pMDI plus spacer has proven to be viable lower cost alternative to the use of a nebuliser for delivering large bronchodilator doses in patients with severe acute asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The use of large-volume spacers is recommended for delivering high doses of inhaled corticosteroids, and may permit a lower maintenance dose to be used. pMDIs may be routinely fitted with a spacer, especially in situations where correct pMDI use is unlikely.

  9. Anti-CRISPR Proteins: Counterattack of Phages on Bacterial Defense (CRISPR/Cas) System.

    PubMed

    Chaudhary, Kulbhushan; Chattopadhyay, Anirudha; Pratap, Dharmendra

    2017-03-01

    Since the dawn of life there is a never ending strife between bacteria and phages. Both are perpetually changing their strategies to take over each other. CRISPR/Cas is the most widespread defense system used by bacteria against mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as phages, cojugative palsmids, transoposons and pathogenicity islands. This system utilizes small guide RNA molecules to protect against phages infection and invasion by MGEs. Phages circumvent to these antiviral barriers by point mutation in PAM (protospacer-adjacent motif) sequence, genome rearrangements and by using anti-CRISPR proteins. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. Physical mode of bacteria and virus coevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Pu; Niestemski, Liang; Deem, Michael

    2013-03-01

    Single-cell hosts such as bacteria or archaea possess an adaptive, heritable immune system that protects them from viral invasion. This system, known as the CRISPR-Cas system, allows the host to recognize and incorporate short foreign DNA or RNA sequences from viruses or plasmids. The sequences form what are called ``spacers'' in the CRISPR. Spacers in the CRISPR loci provide a record of the host and predator coevolution history. We develop a physical model to study the dynamics of this coevolution due to immune pressure. Hosts and viruses reproduce, die, and evolve due to viral infection pressure, host immune pressure, and mutation. We will discuss the differing effects of point mutation and recombination on CRISPR evolution. We will also discuss the effect of different spacer deletion mechanisms. We will describe population structure of hosts and viruses, how spacer diversity depends on position within CRISPR, and match of the CRISPR spacers to the virus population.

  11. A non-electrostatic spacer for aerosol delivery.

    PubMed Central

    Bisgaard, H; Anhøj, J; Klug, B; Berg, E

    1995-01-01

    A pear shaped non-electrostatic spacer, composed of steel with a volume of 250 ml and equipped with a facemask containing integrated inlet and outlet valves for inspiration and expiration, was compared with three plastic spacers. The plastic spacers were primed with repeated puffs from a budesonide pressurised metered dose inhaler (p-MDI) to minimise the electrostatic charge on the plastic. The procedure prolonged the half life (t1/2) of the aerosol in the Nebuhaler from nine to 32 seconds. A normal cleaning procedure reduced the aerosol t1/2 back to baseline. The t1/2 of the aerosol in the metal spacer was 27 seconds and independent of the use of p-MDI. In vitro the maximum dose of budesonide from a p-MDI, expressed as a percentage of the nominal dose, was 56% from the non-electrostatic spacer, 61% from the Nebuhaler, 45% from the Babyhaler, and 30% from the AeroChamber. In 124 children, age 6 months to 6 years, suspected to have asthma the non-electrostatic spacer delivered a mean total dose of budesonide aerosol of 39% of the nominal dose, which was significantly higher than the Babyhaler (28%), the Nebuhaler (21%), and the AeroChamber (19%). These differences were most pronounced in children younger than 4 years. The improved dose delivery from the small volume non-electrostatic spacer is probably related to the non-electrostatic spacer material and the valves which assured unidirectional airflow from the spacer without adding any dead space in the inspiratory channel. The non-electro-static spacer should improve the cost effectiveness of aerosol treatment and, as the counteracting effects of proming and recharging of the plastic from cleaning are avoided, should deliver a more reliable dose. PMID:7492160

  12. Discovery of "Escherichia coli" CRISPR Sequences in an Undergraduate Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Militello, Kevin T.; Lazatin, Justine C.

    2017-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) represent a novel type of adaptive immune system found in eubacteria and archaebacteria. CRISPRs have recently generated a lot of attention due to their unique ability to catalog foreign nucleic acids, their ability to destroy foreign nucleic acids in a mechanism that shares some…

  13. Building the Class 2 CRISPR-Cas Arsenal.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Kevin M; Ke, Ailong

    2017-02-02

    Adaptation of CRISPR-Cas9 for genome-editing applications has revolutionized biomedical research. New single-component effector CRISPR systems are emerging from the bioinformatics pipeline. How can we best harness their power? Three new studies will no doubt facilitate this transition by generating the C2c1 and C2c2 structure snapshots in different functional states.

  14. CRISPR Detection From Short Reads Using Partial Overlap Graphs.

    PubMed

    Ben-Bassat, Ilan; Chor, Benny

    2016-06-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are structured regions in bacterial and archaeal genomes, which are part of an adaptive immune system against phages. CRISPRs are important for many microbial studies and are playing an essential role in current gene editing techniques. As such, they attract substantial research interest. The exponential growth in the amount of bacterial sequence data in recent years enables the exploration of CRISPR loci in more and more species. Most of the automated tools that detect CRISPR loci rely on fully assembled genomes. However, many assemblers do not handle repetitive regions successfully. The first tool to work directly on raw sequence data is Crass, which requires reads that are long enough to contain two copies of the same repeat. We present a method to identify CRISPR repeats from raw sequence data of short reads. The algorithm is based on an observation differentiating CRISPR repeats from other types of repeats, and it involves a series of partial constructions of the overlap graph. This enables us to avoid many of the difficulties that assemblers face, as we merely aim to identify the repeats that belong to CRISPR loci. A preliminary implementation of the algorithm shows good results and detects CRISPR repeats in cases where other existing tools fail to do so.

  15. Spacer effect on nanostructures and self-assembly in organogels via some bolaform cholesteryl imide derivatives with different spacers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiao, Tifeng; Gao, Fengqing; Zhang, Qingrui; Zhou, Jingxin; Gao, Faming

    2013-10-01

    In this paper, new bolaform cholesteryl imide derivatives with different spacers were designed and synthesized. Their gelation behaviors in 23 solvents were investigated, and some of them were found to be low molecular mass organic gelators. The experimental results indicated that these as-formed organogels can be regulated by changing the flexible/rigid segments in spacers and organic solvents. Suitable combination of flexible/rigid segments in molecular spacers in the present cholesteryl gelators is favorable for the gelation of organic solvents. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy observations revealed that the gelator molecules self-assemble into different aggregates, from wrinkle and belt to fiber with the change of spacers and solvents. Spectral studies indicated that there existed different H-bond formations between imide groups and assembly modes, depending on the substituent spacers in molecular skeletons. The present work may give some insight into the design and character of new organogelators and soft materials with special molecular structures.

  16. DNA fragment editing of genomes by CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    Jinhuan, Li; Jia, Shou; Qiang, Wu

    2015-10-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated nuclease 9 (Cas9) system from bacteria and archaea emerged recently as a new powerful technology of genome editing in virtually any organism. Due to its simplicity and cost effectiveness, a revolutionary change of genetics has occurred. Here, we summarize the recent development of DNA fragment editing methods by CRISPR/Cas9 and describe targeted DNA fragment deletions, inversions, duplications, insertions, and translocations. The efficient method of DNA fragment editing provides a powerful tool for studying gene function, regulatory elements, tissue development, and disease progression. Finally, we discuss the prospects of CRISPR/Cas9 system and the potential applications of other types of CRISPR system.

  17. Advances in Industrial Biotechnology Using CRISPR-Cas Systems.

    PubMed

    Donohoue, Paul D; Barrangou, Rodolphe; May, Andrew P

    2017-08-01

    The term 'clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats' (CRISPR) has recently become synonymous with the genome-editing revolution. The RNA-guided endonuclease CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), in particular, has attracted attention for its promise in basic research and gene editing-based therapeutics. CRISPR-Cas systems are efficient and easily programmable nucleic acid-targeting tools, with uses reaching beyond research and therapeutic development into the precision breeding of plants and animals and the engineering of industrial microbes. CRISPR-Cas systems have potential for many microbial engineering applications, including bacterial strain typing, immunization of cultures, autoimmunity or self-targeted cell killing, and the engineering or control of metabolic pathways for improved biochemical synthesis. In this review, we explore the fundamental characteristics of CRISPR-Cas systems and highlight how these features can be used in industrial settings. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Harnessing CRISPR-Cas systems for bacterial genome editing.

    PubMed

    Selle, Kurt; Barrangou, Rodolphe

    2015-04-01

    Manipulation of genomic sequences facilitates the identification and characterization of key genetic determinants in the investigation of biological processes. Genome editing via clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) constitutes a next-generation method for programmable and high-throughput functional genomics. CRISPR-Cas systems are readily reprogrammed to induce sequence-specific DNA breaks at target loci, resulting in fixed mutations via host-dependent DNA repair mechanisms. Although bacterial genome editing is a relatively unexplored and underrepresented application of CRISPR-Cas systems, recent studies provide valuable insights for the widespread future implementation of this technology. This review summarizes recent progress in bacterial genome editing and identifies fundamental genetic and phenotypic outcomes of CRISPR targeting in bacteria, in the context of tool development, genome homeostasis, and DNA repair.

  19. A quick guide to CRISPR sgRNA design tools

    PubMed Central

    Brazelton, Vincent A; Zarecor, Scott; Wright, David A; Wang, Yuan; Liu, Jie; Chen, Keting; Yang, Bing; Lawrence-Dill, Carolyn J

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Targeted genome editing is now possible in nearly any organism and is widely acknowledged as a biotech game-changer. Among available gene editing techniques, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is the current favorite because it has been shown to work in many species, does not necessarily result in the addition of foreign DNA at the target site, and follows a set of simple design rules for target selection. Use of the CRISPR-Cas9 system is facilitated by the availability of an array of CRISPR design tools that vary in design specifications and parameter choices, available genomes, graphical visualization, and downstream analysis functionality. To help researchers choose a tool that best suits their specific research needs, we review the functionality of various CRISPR design tools including our own, the CRISPR Genome Analysis Tool (CGAT; http://cropbioengineering.iastate.edu/cgat). PMID:26745836

  20. A quick guide to CRISPR sgRNA design tools.

    PubMed

    Brazelton, Vincent A; Zarecor, Scott; Wright, David A; Wang, Yuan; Liu, Jie; Chen, Keting; Yang, Bing; Lawrence-Dill, Carolyn J

    2015-01-01

    Targeted genome editing is now possible in nearly any organism and is widely acknowledged as a biotech game-changer. Among available gene editing techniques, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is the current favorite because it has been shown to work in many species, does not necessarily result in the addition of foreign DNA at the target site, and follows a set of simple design rules for target selection. Use of the CRISPR-Cas9 system is facilitated by the availability of an array of CRISPR design tools that vary in design specifications and parameter choices, available genomes, graphical visualization, and downstream analysis functionality. To help researchers choose a tool that best suits their specific research needs, we review the functionality of various CRISPR design tools including our own, the CRISPR Genome Analysis Tool (CGAT; http://cropbioengineering.iastate.edu/cgat ).

  1. Cutting it close: CRISPR-associated endoribonuclease structure and function.

    PubMed

    Hochstrasser, Megan L; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2015-01-01

    Many bacteria and archaea possess an adaptive immune system consisting of repetitive genetic elements known as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins. Similar to RNAi pathways in eukaryotes, CRISPR-Cas systems require small RNAs for sequence-specific detection and degradation of complementary nucleic acids. Cas5 and Cas6 enzymes have evolved to specifically recognize and process CRISPR-derived transcripts into functional small RNAs used as guides by interference complexes. Our detailed understanding of these proteins has led to the development of several useful Cas6-based biotechnological methods. Here, we review the structures, functions, mechanisms, and applications of the enzymes responsible for CRISPR RNA (crRNA) processing, highlighting a fascinating family of endonucleases with exquisite RNA recognition and cleavage activities.

  2. The structural biology of CRISPR-Cas systems.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Fuguo; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2015-02-01

    Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas genomic loci encode RNA-mediated adaptive immune systems that bear some functional similarities with eukaryotic RNA interference. Acquired and heritable immunity against bacteriophage and plasmids begins with integration of ∼30 base pair foreign DNA sequences into the host genome. CRISPR-derived transcripts assemble with CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins to target complementary nucleic acids for degradation. Here we review recent advances in the structural biology of these targeting complexes, with a focus on structural studies of the multisubunit Type I CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance and the Cas9 DNA endonuclease found in Type II CRISPR-Cas systems. These complexes have distinct structures that are each capable of site-specific double-stranded DNA binding and local helix unwinding.

  3. Advances in therapeutic CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing.

    PubMed

    Savić, Nataša; Schwank, Gerald

    2016-02-01

    Targeted nucleases are widely used as tools for genome editing. Two years ago the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated Cas9 nuclease was used for the first time, and since then has largely revolutionized the field. The tremendous success of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tool is powered by the ease design principle of the guide RNA that targets Cas9 to the desired DNA locus, and by the high specificity and efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9-generated DNA breaks. Several studies recently used CRISPR/Cas9 to successfully modulate disease-causing alleles in vivo in animal models and ex vivo in somatic and induced pluripotent stem cells, raising hope for therapeutic genome editing in the clinics. In this review, we will summarize and discuss such preclinical CRISPR/Cas9 gene therapy reports. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Advanced hole patterning technology using soft spacer materials (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jong Keun; Hustad, Phillip D.; Aqad, Emad; Valeri, David; Wagner, Mike D.; Li, Mingqi

    2017-03-01

    A continuing goal in integrated circuit industry is to increase density of features within patterned masks. One pathway being used by the device manufacturers for patterning beyond the 80nm pitch limitation of 193 immersion lithography is the self-aligned spacer double patterning (SADP). Two orthogonal line space patterns with subsequent SADP can be used for contact holes multiplication. However, a combination of two immersion exposures, two spacer deposition processes, and two etch processes to reach the desired dimensions makes this process expensive and complicated. One alternative technique for contact hole multiplication is the use of an array of pillar patterns. Pillars, imaged with 193 immersion photolithography, can be uniformly deposited with spacer materials until a hole is formed in the center of 4 pillars. Selective removal of the pillar core gives a reversal of phases, a contact hole where there was once a pillar. However, the highly conformal nature of conventional spacer materials causes a problem with this application. The new holes, formed between 4 pillars, by this method have a tendency to be imperfect and not circular. To improve the contact hole circularity, this paper presents the use of both conventional spacer material and soft spacer materials. Application of soft spacer materials can be achieved by an existing coating track without additional cost burden to the device manufacturers.

  5. Asymmetric positioning of Cas1–2 complex and Integration Host Factor induced DNA bending guide the unidirectional homing of protospacer in CRISPR-Cas type I-E system

    PubMed Central

    Yoganand, K.N.R.; Sivathanu, R.; Nimkar, Siddharth; Anand, B.

    2017-01-01

    CRISPR–Cas system epitomizes prokaryote-specific quintessential adaptive defense machinery that limits the genome invasion of mobile genetic elements. It confers adaptive immunity to bacteria by capturing a protospacer fragment from invading foreign DNA, which is later inserted into the leader proximal end of CRIPSR array and serves as immunological memory to recognize recurrent invasions. The universally conserved Cas1 and Cas2 form an integration complex that is known to mediate the protospacer invasion into the CRISPR array. However, the mechanism by which this protospacer fragment gets integrated in a directional fashion into the leader proximal end is elusive. Here, we employ CRISPR/dCas9 mediated immunoprecipitation and genetic analysis to identify Integration Host Factor (IHF) as an indispensable accessory factor for spacer acquisition in Escherichia coli. Further, we show that the leader region abutting the first CRISPR repeat localizes IHF and Cas1–2 complex. IHF binding to the leader region induces bending by about 120° that in turn engenders the regeneration of the cognate binding site for protospacer bound Cas1–2 complex and brings it in proximity with the first CRISPR repeat. This appears to guide Cas1–2 complex to orient the protospacer invasion towards the leader-repeat junction thus driving the integration in a polarized fashion. PMID:27899566

  6. Preclinical Evaluation of Bioabsorbable Polyglycolic Acid Spacer for Particle Therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Akasaka, Hiroaki; Sasaki, Ryohei; Miyawaki, Daisuke; Mukumoto, Naritoshi; Sulaiman, Nor Shazrina Binti; Nagata, Masaaki; Yamada, Shigeru; Murakami, Masao; Demizu, Yusuke; Fukumoto, Takumi

    2014-12-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a polyglycolic acid (PGA) spacer through physical and animal experiments. Methods and Materials: The spacer was produced with surgical suture material made of PGA, forming a 3-dimensional nonwoven fabric. For evaluation or physical experiments, 150-MeV proton or 320-MeV carbon-ion beams were used to generate 60-mm width of spread-out Bragg peak. For animal experiments, the abdomens of C57BL/6 mice, with or without the inserted PGA spacers, were irradiated with 20 Gy of carbon-ion beam (290 MeV) using the spread-out Bragg peak. Body weight changes over time were scored, and radiation damage to the intestine was investigated using hematoxylin and eosin stain. Blood samples were also evaluated 24 days after the irradiation. Long-term thickness retention and safety were evaluated using crab-eating macaques. Results: No chemical or structural changes after 100 Gy of proton or carbon-ion irradiation were observed in the PGA spacer. Water equivalency of the PGA spacer was equal to the water thickness under wet condition. During 24 days' observation after 20 Gy of carbon-ion irradiation, the body weights of mice with the PGA spacer were relatively unchanged, whereas significant weight loss was observed in those mice without the PGA spacer (P<.05). In mice with the PGA spacer, villus and crypt structure were preserved after irradiation. No inflammatory reactions or liver or renal dysfunctions due to placement of the PGA spacer were observed. In the abdomen of crab-eating macaques, thickness of the PGA spacer was maintained 8 weeks after placement. Conclusions: The absorbable PGA spacer had water-equivalent, bio-compatible, and thickness-retaining properties. Although further evaluation is warranted in a clinical setting, the PGA spacer may be effective to stop proton or carbon-ion beams and to separate normal tissues from the radiation field.

  7. Inhaler spacer devices to treat asthma in children.

    PubMed

    Watson, Paul

    Drawing on literature searches and professional experience, this article discusses the treatment of asthma with pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs). It demonstrates the need for pMDIs, and presents the health and cost benefits of using a pMDI through a spacer device. Through the review and evaluation of studies, it demonstrates the importance of correct asthma management and the use of spacers. Although there are many types of spacer, and patients often have less than optimal technique, there is evidence to support the overall benefits of use against non-use.

  8. Comparison of non-canonical PAMs for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage in human cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yilan; Ge, Xianglian; Yang, Fayu; Zhang, Liping; Zheng, Jiayong; Tan, Xuefang; Jin, Zi-Bing; Qu, Jia; Gu, Feng

    2014-06-23

    CRISPR/Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage (CCMDC) is becoming increasingly used for efficient genome engineering. Proto-spacer adjacent motif (PAM) adjacent to target sequence is one of the key components in the design of CCMDC strategies. It has been reported that NAG sequences are the predominant non-canonical PAM for CCMDC at the human EMX locus, but it is not clear whether it is universal at other loci. In the present study, we attempted to use a GFP-reporter system to comprehensively and quantitatively test the efficiency of CCMDC with non-canonical PAMs in human cells. The initial results indicated that the effectiveness of NGA PAM for CCMDC is much higher than that of other 14 PAMs including NAG. Then we further designed another three pairs of NGG, NGA and NAG PAMs at different locations in the GFP gene and investigated the corresponding DNA cleavage efficiency. We observed that one group of NGA PAMs have a relatively higher DNA cleavage efficiency, while the other groups have lower efficiency, compared with the corresponding NAG PAMs. Our study clearly demonstrates that NAG may not be the universally predominant non-canonical PAM for CCMDC in human cells. These findings raise more concerns over off-target effects in CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering.

  9. Rapid and Efficient Genome Editing in Staphylococcus aureus by Using an Engineered CRISPR/Cas9 System.

    PubMed

    Chen, Weizhong; Zhang, Yifei; Yeo, Won-Sik; Bae, Taeok; Ji, Quanjiang

    2017-03-02

    Staphylococcus aureus, a major human pathogen, has been the cause of serious infectious diseases with a high mortality rate. Although genetics is a key means to study S. aureus physiology, such as drug resistance and pathogenesis, genetic manipulation in S. aureus is always time-consuming and labor-intensive. Here we report a CRISPR/Cas9 system (pCasSA) for rapid and efficient genome editing, including gene deletion, insertion, and single-base substitution mutation in S. aureus. The designed pCasSA system is amenable to the assembly of spacers and repair arms by Golden Gate assembly and Gibson assembly, respectively, enabling rapid construction of the plasmids for editing. We further engineered the pCasSA system to be an efficient transcription inhibition system for gene knockdown and possible genome-wide screening. The development of the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing and transcription inhibition tools will dramatically accelerate drug-target exploration and drug development.

  10. Different genome stability proteins underpin primed and naïve adaptation in E. coli CRISPR-Cas immunity

    PubMed Central

    Ivančić-Baće, Ivana; Cass, Simon D; Wearne, Stephen J; Bolt, Edward L

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas is a prokaryotic immune system built from capture and integration of invader DNA into CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) loci, termed ‘Adaptation’, which is dependent on Cas1 and Cas2 proteins. In Escherichia coli, Cascade-Cas3 degrades invader DNA to effect immunity, termed ‘Interference’. Adaptation can interact with interference (‘primed’), or is independent of it (‘naïve’). We demonstrate that primed adaptation requires the RecG helicase and PriA protein to be present. Genetic analysis of mutant phenotypes suggests that RecG is needed to dissipate R-loops at blocked replication forks. Additionally, we identify that DNA polymerase I is important for both primed and naive adaptation, and that RecB is needed for naïve adaptation. Purified Cas1-Cas2 protein shows specificity for binding to and nicking forked DNA within single strand gaps, and collapsing forks into DNA duplexes. The data suggest that different genome stability systems interact with primed or naïve adaptation when responding to blocked or collapsed invader DNA replication. In this model, RecG and Cas3 proteins respond to invader DNA replication forks that are blocked by Cascade interference, enabling DNA capture. RecBCD targets DNA ends at collapsed forks, enabling DNA capture without interference. DNA polymerase I is proposed to fill DNA gaps during spacer integration. PMID:26578567

  11. Different genome stability proteins underpin primed and naïve adaptation in E. coli CRISPR-Cas immunity.

    PubMed

    Ivančić-Baće, Ivana; Cass, Simon D; Wearne, Stephen J; Bolt, Edward L

    2015-12-15

    CRISPR-Cas is a prokaryotic immune system built from capture and integration of invader DNA into CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) loci, termed 'Adaptation', which is dependent on Cas1 and Cas2 proteins. In Escherichia coli, Cascade-Cas3 degrades invader DNA to effect immunity, termed 'Interference'. Adaptation can interact with interference ('primed'), or is independent of it ('naïve'). We demonstrate that primed adaptation requires the RecG helicase and PriA protein to be present. Genetic analysis of mutant phenotypes suggests that RecG is needed to dissipate R-loops at blocked replication forks. Additionally, we identify that DNA polymerase I is important for both primed and naive adaptation, and that RecB is needed for naïve adaptation. Purified Cas1-Cas2 protein shows specificity for binding to and nicking forked DNA within single strand gaps, and collapsing forks into DNA duplexes. The data suggest that different genome stability systems interact with primed or naïve adaptation when responding to blocked or collapsed invader DNA replication. In this model, RecG and Cas3 proteins respond to invader DNA replication forks that are blocked by Cascade interference, enabling DNA capture. RecBCD targets DNA ends at collapsed forks, enabling DNA capture without interference. DNA polymerase I is proposed to fill DNA gaps during spacer integration.

  12. Rapid Evolution of Manifold CRISPR Systems for Plant Genome Editing

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Levi; Malzahn, Aimee; Qi, Yiping

    2016-01-01

    Advanced CRISPR-Cas9 based technologies first validated in mammalian cell systems are quickly being adapted for use in plants. These new technologies increase CRISPR-Cas9's utility and effectiveness by diversifying cellular capabilities through expression construct system evolution and enzyme orthogonality, as well as enhanced efficiency through delivery and expression mechanisms. Here, we review the current state of advanced CRISPR-Cas9 and Cpf1 capabilities in plants and cover the rapid evolution of these tools from first generation inducers of double strand breaks for basic genetic manipulations to second and third generation multiplexed systems with myriad functionalities, capabilities, and specialized applications. We offer perspective on how to utilize these tools for currently untested research endeavors and analyze strengths and weaknesses of novel CRISPR systems in plants. Advanced CRISPR functionalities and delivery options demonstrated in plants are primarily reviewed but new technologies just coming to the forefront of CRISPR development, or those on the horizon, are briefly discussed. Topics covered are focused on the expansion of expression and delivery capabilities for CRISPR-Cas9 components and broadening targeting range through orthogonal Cas9 and Cpf1 proteins. PMID:27895652

  13. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated correction of human genetic disease.

    PubMed

    Men, Ke; Duan, Xingmei; He, Zhiyao; Yang, Yang; Yao, Shaohua; Wei, Yuquan

    2017-05-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein 9 system (CRISPR/Cas9) provides a powerful tool for targeted genetic editing. Directed by programmable sequence-specific RNAs, this system introduces cleavage and double-stranded breaks at target sites precisely. Compared to previously developed targeted nucleases, the CRISPR/Cas9 system demonstrates several promising advantages, including simplicity, high specificity, and efficiency. Several broad genome-editing studies with the CRISPR/Cas9 system in different species in vivo and ex vivo have indicated its strong potential, raising hopes for therapeutic genome editing in clinical settings. Taking advantage of non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homology directed repair (HDR)-mediated DNA repair, several studies have recently reported the use of CRISPR/Cas9 to successfully correct disease-causing alleles ranging from single base mutations to large insertions. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent preclinical studies involving the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated correction of human genetic diseases.

  14. Recent Progress in CRISPR/Cas9 Technology.

    PubMed

    Mei, Yue; Wang, Yan; Chen, Huiqian; Sun, Zhong Sheng; Ju, Xing-Da

    2016-02-20

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system, a simple and efficient tool for genome editing, has experienced rapid progress in its technology and applicability in the past two years. Here, we review the recent advances in CRISPR/Cas9 technology and the ways that have been adopted to expand our capacity for precise genome manipulation. First, we introduce the mechanism of CRISPR/Cas9, including its biochemical and structural implications. Second, we highlight the latest improvements in the CRISPR/Cas9 system, especially Cas9 protein modifications for customization. Third, we review its current applications, in which the versatile CRISPR/Cas9 system was employed to edit the genome, epigenome, or RNA of various organisms. Although CRISPR/Cas9 allows convenient genome editing accompanied by many benefits, we should not ignore the significant ethical and biosafety concerns that it raises. Finally, we discuss the prospective applications and challenges of several promising techniques adapted from CRISPR/Cas9. Copyright © 2016 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Genetics Society of China. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. CRISPRED: CRISP imaging spectropolarimeter data reduction pipeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Cruz Rodríguez, J.; Löfdahl, M. G.; Sütterlin, P.; Hillberg, T.; Rouppe van der Voort, L.

    2017-08-01

    CRISPRED reduces data from the CRISP imaging spectropolarimeter at the Swedish 1 m Solar Telescope (SST). It performs fitting routines, corrects optical aberrations from atmospheric turbulence as well as from the optics, and compensates for inter-camera misalignments, field-dependent and time-varying instrumental polarization, and spatial variation in the detector gain and in the zero level offset (bias). It has an object-oriented IDL structure with computationally demanding routines performed in C subprograms called as dynamically loadable modules (DLMs).

  16. 14. TYPICAL WORK DECK SHOWING RING SPACERS, CABLE DRUMS AND ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    14. TYPICAL WORK DECK SHOWING RING SPACERS, CABLE DRUMS AND OTHER SPECIALIZED HARDWARE; VIEW TO SOUTH. - Cape Canaveral Air Station, Launch Complex 17, Facility 28416, East end of Lighthouse Road, Cape Canaveral, Brevard County, FL

  17. Technique for adapting a spacer for a custom impression tray.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Harsimran; Nanda, Aditi; Verma, Mahesh; Koli, Dheeraj

    2016-12-01

    A method of adapting a spacer for the custom trays used to make a definite impression for complete dentures is presented. The technique can be used under a variety of conditions and offers several advantages.

  18. Improvement of pressurised aerosol deposition with Nebuhaler spacer device.

    PubMed Central

    Newman, S P; Millar, A B; Lennard-Jones, T R; Morén, F; Clarke, S W

    1984-01-01

    The effect on aerosol deposition from a pressurised metered dose inhaler of a 750 cm3 spacer device with a one way inhalation valve (Nebuhaler, Astra Pharmaceuticals) was assessed by means of an in vivo radiotracer technique. Nine patients with obstructive lung disease took part in the study. The pattern of deposition associated with use of a metered dose inhaler alone was compared with that achieved with the spacer used both for inhalation of single puffs of aerosol and for inhalation of four puffs actuated in rapid succession and then inhaled simultaneously. On each occasion there was a delay of 1 s between aerosol release and inhalation, simulating poor inhaler technique. With the metered dose inhaler alone, a mean (SEM) 8.7 (1.8)% of the dose reached the lungs and 80.9 (1.9)% was deposited in the oropharynx. With single puffs from the spacer 20.9 (1.6)% of the dose (p less than 0.01) reached the lungs, only 16.5 (2.3)% (p less than 0.01) was deposited in the oropharynx, and 55.8 (3.1)% was retained within the spacer itself. With four puffs from the spacer 15.2 (1.5)% reached the lungs (p = 0.02 compared with the metered dose inhaler alone, p less than 0.01 compared with single puffs from the spacer), 11.4 (1.2)% was deposited in the oropharynx, and 67.5 (1.8)% in the device itself. It is concluded that the spacer device gives lung deposition of metered dose aerosols comparable to or greater than a correctly used inhaler and oropharyngeal deposition is greatly reduced. The spacer should be used preferably for the inhalation of single puffs of aerosol but may also be used for the inhalation of up to four puffs actuated in rapid succession and then inhaled simultaneously. Images PMID:6440305

  19. A Comprehensive Curation Shows the Dynamic Evolutionary Patterns of Prokaryotic CRISPRs.

    PubMed

    Mai, Guoqin; Ge, Ruiquan; Sun, Guoquan; Meng, Qinghan; Zhou, Fengfeng

    2016-01-01

    Motivation. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) is a genetic element with active regulation roles for foreign invasive genes in the prokaryotic genomes and has been engineered to work with the CRISPR-associated sequence (Cas) gene Cas9 as one of the modern genome editing technologies. Due to inconsistent definitions, the existing CRISPR detection programs seem to have missed some weak CRISPR signals. Results. This study manually curates all the currently annotated CRISPR elements in the prokaryotic genomes and proposes 95 updates to the annotations. A new definition is proposed to cover all the CRISPRs. The comprehensive comparison of CRISPR numbers on the taxonomic levels of both domains and genus shows high variations for closely related species even in the same genus. The detailed investigation of how CRISPRs are evolutionarily manipulated in the 8 completely sequenced species in the genus Thermoanaerobacter demonstrates that transposons act as a frequent tool for splitting long CRISPRs into shorter ones along a long evolutionary history.

  20. [Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) site in Bacillus anthracis].

    PubMed

    Gao, Zhiqi; Wang, Dongshu; Feng, Erling; Wang, Bingxiang; Hui, Yiming; Han, Shaobo; Jiao, Lei; Liu, Xiankai; Wang, Hengliang

    2014-11-04

    To investigate the polymorphism of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in Bacillu santhracis and the application to molecular typing based on the polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis. We downloaded the whole genome sequence of 6 B. anthracis strains and extracted the CRISPR sites. We designed the primers of CRISPR sites and amplified the CRISPR fragments in 193 B. anthracis strains by PCR and sequenced these fragments. In order to reveal the polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis, wealigned all the extracted sequences and sequenced results by local blasting. At the same time, we also analyzed the CRISPR sites in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. We did not find any polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis. The molecular typing approach based on CRISPR polymorphism is not suitable for B. anthracis, but it is possible for us to distinguish B. anthracis from B. cereus and B. thuringiensis.

  1. Modeling Disease In Vivo With CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    Dow, Lukas E

    2015-10-01

    The recent advent of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing has created a wave of excitement across the scientific research community, carrying the promise of simple and effective genomic manipulation of nearly any cell type. CRISPR has quickly become the preferred tool for genetic manipulation, and shows incredible promise as a platform for studying gene function in vivo. I discuss the current application of CRISPR technology to create new in vivo disease models, with a particular focus on how these tools, derived from an adaptive bacterial immune system, are helping us to better model the complexity of human cancer.

  2. Modeling disease in vivo with CRISPR/Cas9

    PubMed Central

    Dow, Lukas E.

    2015-01-01

    The recent advent of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing has created a wave of excitement across the scientific research community, carrying the promise of simple and effective genomic manipulation of nearly any cell type. CRISPR has quickly become the preferred tool for genetic manipulation, and shows incredible promise as a platform for studying gene function in vivo. Here, I discuss the current application of CRISPR technology to create new in vivo disease models, with a particular focus on how these tools, derived from an adaptive bacterial immune system, are helping us better model the complexity of human cancer. PMID:26432018

  3. CRISPR-Cas9-guided Genome Engineering in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun-Min; Colaiácovo, Monica P.

    2016-01-01

    The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) system is successfully being used for efficient and targeted genome editing in various organisms including the nematode C. elegans. Recent studies developed various CRISPR-Cas9 approaches to enhance genome engineering via two major DNA double-strand break repair pathways: non-homologous end joining and homologous recombination. Here we describe a protocol for Cas9-mediated C. elegans genome editing together with single guide RNA (sgRNA) and repair template cloning and injection methods required for delivering Cas9, sgRNAs and repair template DNA into the C. elegans germline. PMID:27366893

  4. CRISPR/Cas9-Based Genome Editing in Plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yaling; Ma, Xingliang; Xie, Xianrong; Liu, Yao-Guang

    2017-01-01

    Recently, genome editing technologies have shown great potential in plants. The newly developed clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system is a new generation of genome editing tool rapidly replacing the earlier zinc finger nucleases and transcription activator-like effector nucleases systems. Indeed, due to its advantages of simplicity and high efficiency, the CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing system is becoming a powerful tool in plant science research. Here, we introduce the technical features of the plant CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing system and its applications in plant functional genomics studies and genetic improvement. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Nuclear ribosomal spacer regions in plant phylogenetics: problems and prospects.

    PubMed

    Poczai, Péter; Hyvönen, Jaakko

    2010-04-01

    The nuclear ribosomal locus coding for the large subunit is represented in tandem arrays in the plant genome. These consecutive gene blocks, consisting of several regions, are widely applied in plant phylogenetics. The regions coding for the subunits of the rRNA have the lowest rate of evolution. Also the spacer regions like the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) and external transcribed spacers (ETS) are widely utilized in phylogenetics. The fact, that these regions are present in many copies in the plant genome is an advantage for laboratory practice but might be problem for phylogenetic analysis. Beside routine usage, the rDNA regions provide the great potential to study complex evolutionary mechanisms, such as reticulate events or array duplications. The understanding of these processes is based on the observation that the multiple copies of rDNA regions are homogenized through concerted evolution. This phenomenon results to paralogous copies, which can be misleading when incorporated in phylogenetic analyses. The fact that non-functional copies or pseudogenes can coexist with ortholougues in a single individual certainly makes also the analysis difficult. This article summarizes the information about the structure and utility of the phylogenetically informative spacer regions of the rDNA, namely internal- and external transcribed spacer regions as well as the intergenic spacer (IGS).

  6. Nuclear reactor spacer grid and ductless core component

    DOEpatents

    Christiansen, David W.; Karnesky, Richard A.

    1989-01-01

    The invention relates to a nuclear reactor spacer grid member for use in a liquid cooled nuclear reactor and to a ductless core component employing a plurality of these spacer grid members. The spacer grid member is of the egg-shell type and is constructed so that the walls of the cell members of the grid member are formed of a single thickness of metal to avoid tolerance problems. Within each cell member is a hydraulic spring which laterally constrains the nuclear material bearing rod which passes through each cell member against a hardstop in response to coolant flow through the cell member. This hydraulic spring is also suitable for use in a water cooled nuclear reactor. A core component constructed of, among other components, a plurality of these spacer grid members, avoids the use of a full length duct by providing spacer sleeves about the sodium tubes passing through the spacer grid members at locations between the grid members, thereby maintaining a predetermined space between adjacent grid members.

  7. The evolution of spacers and valved holding chambers.

    PubMed

    Nikander, Kurt; Nicholls, Clare; Denyer, John; Pritchard, John

    2014-08-01

    Spacers and valved holding chambers (VHCs) are pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) accessory devices, designed to overcome problems that patients commonly experience when administering aerosol via a pMDI. Spacers were developed in direct response to patient-related issues with pMDI technique, particularly, poor coordination between actuation and inhalation, and local side-effects arising from oropharyngeal deposition. Current clinical guidelines indicate the need for widespread prescription and use of spacers, but, despite their apparent ubiquity, the devices themselves are, unfortunately, all too commonly "disused" by patients. An understanding of the background from which spacers developed, and the key factors influencing the optimization of the spacer and the later VHC, is crucial to developing an appreciation of the potential of these devices, both contemporary and future, for improving the delivery of pressurized aerosols to patients. This review, informed by a full patent search and an extensive scientific literature review, takes into account the clinical and laboratory evidence, commercial developments, and the sometimes serendipitous details of scientific anecdotes to form a comprehensive perspective on the evolution of spacers, from their origins, in the early days of the pMDI, up to the present day.

  8. Sidewall spacer optimization for steep switching junctionless transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Manish; Kranti, Abhinav

    2016-06-01

    In this work, we analyze the impact of a high permittivity (high-κ) sidewall spacer and gate dielectric on the occurrence of sub-60 mV/decade subthreshold swing (S-swing) in symmetrical junctionless (JL) double gate (DG) transistors. It is shown that steep S-swing values (≤10 mV/decade) can be achieved in JL devices with a combination of a high permittivity (high-κ) gate dielectric and a narrow low permittivity (low-κ) sidewall spacer. Implementation of a wider high-κ spacer will diminish the degree of impact ionization by the influence of the fringing component of the gate electric field, and will not be useful for steep off-to-on current transition. A wider spacer with low-κ and a narrow spacer with high-κ permittivity will be useful to limit the latching effect that can occur at lower temperatures (250 K). For high temperature operation, the decrease in the impact ionization rate can be compensated by designing a JL transistor with a thicker silicon film. The work demonstrates opportunities to enhance impact ionization at sub bandgap voltages, and proposes optimal guidelines for selecting a sidewall spacer to facilitate steep switching in JL transistors.

  9. Novel spacer device does not improve adherence in childhood asthma.

    PubMed

    Burgess, S W; Sly, P D; Cooper, D M; Devadason, S G

    2007-08-01

    The Funhaler (FH) is a novel spacer device (holding chamber) that has been designed to improve adherence and aerosol delivery in young asthmatic children using a metered dose inhaler. A pilot study reported a 38% increase in parent-reported adherence over 2 weeks compared with the child's normal spacer. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the FH would be associated with superior adherence in the medium term (3 months) using an objective assessment. Forty-seven children aged 18 months to 7 years were randomised to a FH or control small volume spacer. Participants were reviewed monthly for 3 months. Adherence was measured using an electronic monitoring device (Smartinhaler). Disease control was based on symptom scores and exacerbation rates. Twenty-six children were randomised to the FH and 21 to the control spacer. Three children withdrew (FH = 2). Median adherence each month for the 3 months was 74%, 54%, and 46% for the FH and 70%, 73%, and 54% for the control spacer. The difference in adherence was not statistically significant (P = 0.47, 0.37, and 0.23, respectively). There was also no significant difference in exacerbation rates or symptom scores. Seven of the FHs broke during the study. The FH was preferred by 21/24 parents randomised to the FH compared with their child's normal spacer. Despite the FH being popular with children and parents its use was not associated with improved adherence or disease control. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. CRISPR and the Rebirth of Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Heidari, Raheleh; Shaw, David Martin; Elger, Bernice Simone

    2017-04-01

    Emergence of novel genome engineering technologies such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) has refocused attention on unresolved ethical complications of synthetic biology. Biosecurity concerns, deontological issues and human right aspects of genome editing have been the subject of in-depth debate; however, a lack of transparent regulatory guidelines, outdated governance codes, inefficient time-consuming clinical trial pathways and frequent misunderstanding of the scientific potential of cutting-edge technologies have created substantial obstacles to translational research in this area. While a precautionary principle should be applied at all stages of genome engineering research, the stigma of germline editing, synthesis of new life forms and unrealistic presentation of current technologies should not arrest the transition of new therapeutic, diagnostic or preventive tools from research to clinic. We provide a brief review on the present regulation of CRISPR and discuss the translational aspect of genome engineering research and patient autonomy with respect to the "right to try" potential novel non-germline gene therapies.

  11. RNA targeting with CRISPR-Cas13.

    PubMed

    Abudayyeh, Omar O; Gootenberg, Jonathan S; Essletzbichler, Patrick; Han, Shuo; Joung, Julia; Belanto, Joseph J; Verdine, Vanessa; Cox, David B T; Kellner, Max J; Regev, Aviv; Lander, Eric S; Voytas, Daniel F; Ting, Alice Y; Zhang, Feng

    2017-10-12

    RNA has important and diverse roles in biology, but molecular tools to manipulate and measure it are limited. For example, RNA interference can efficiently knockdown RNAs, but it is prone to off-target effects, and visualizing RNAs typically relies on the introduction of exogenous tags. Here we demonstrate that the class 2 type VI RNA-guided RNA-targeting CRISPR-Cas effector Cas13a (previously known as C2c2) can be engineered for mammalian cell RNA knockdown and binding. After initial screening of 15 orthologues, we identified Cas13a from Leptotrichia wadei (LwaCas13a) as the most effective in an interference assay in Escherichia coli. LwaCas13a can be heterologously expressed in mammalian and plant cells for targeted knockdown of either reporter or endogenous transcripts with comparable levels of knockdown as RNA interference and improved specificity. Catalytically inactive LwaCas13a maintains targeted RNA binding activity, which we leveraged for programmable tracking of transcripts in live cells. Our results establish CRISPR-Cas13a as a flexible platform for studying RNA in mammalian cells and therapeutic development.

  12. CRISPR challenges in treating retinal disease

    PubMed Central

    Chrenek, Micah A.; Nickerson, John M.; Boatright, Jeffrey H.

    2016-01-01

    Ophthalmic researchers and clinicians arguably have led the way for safe, effective gene therapy, most notably with adeno-associated viral gene supplementation in the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis type 2 (LCA 2) patients with mutations in the RPE65 gene. These successes notwithstanding, most other genetic retinal disease will be refractory to supplementation. The ideal gene therapy approach would correct gene mutations to restore normal function in the affected cells. Gene editing in which a mutant allele is inactivated or converted to sequence that restores normal function is hypothetically one such approach. Such editing involves site-specific digestion of mutant genomic DNA followed by repair. Previous experimental approaches were hampered by inaccurate and high rates of off-site lesioning and by overall low digestion rates. A new tool, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats coupled with the nuclease Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9), may address both shortcomings. Some of the many challenges that must be addressed in moving CRISPR/Cas9 therapies to the ophthalmic clinic are discussed here. PMID:27488072

  13. Single-cell sequencing unveils the lifestyle and CRISPR-based population history of Hydrotalea sp. in acid mine drainage.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, J D; Leite, L R; Pylro, V S; Oliveira, F S; Almeida, V M; Fernandes, G R; Salim, A C M; Araújo, F M G; Volpini, A C; Oliveira, G; Cuadros-Orellana, S

    2017-08-12

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is characterized by an acid and metal-rich run-off that originates from mining systems. Despite having been studied for many decades, much remains unknown about the microbial community dynamics in AMD sites, especially during their early development, when the acidity is moderate. Here, we describe draft genome assemblies from single cells retrieved from an early-stage AMD sample. These cells belong to the genus Hydrotalea and are closely related to Hydrotalea flava. The phylogeny and average nucleotide identity analysis suggest that all single amplified genomes (SAGs) form two clades that may represent different strains. These cells have the genomic potential for denitrification, copper and other metal resistance. Two coexisting CRISPR-Cas loci were recovered across SAGs, and we observed heterogeneity in the population with regard to the spacer sequences, together with the loss of trailer-end spacers. Our results suggest that the genomes of Hydrotalea sp. strains studied here are adjusting to a quickly changing selective pressure at the microhabitat scale, and an important form of this selective pressure is infection by foreign DNA. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. High efficient multisites genome editing in allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) using CRISPR/Cas9 system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pengcheng; Zhang, Jun; Sun, Lin; Ma, Yizan; Xu, Jiao; Liang, Sijia; Deng, Jinwu; Tan, Jiafu; Zhang, Qinghua; Tu, Lili; Daniell, Henry; Jin, Shuangxia; Zhang, Xianlong

    2017-05-12

    Gossypium hirsutum is an allotetraploid with a complex genome. Most genes have multiple copies that belong to At and Dt subgenomes. Sequence similarity is also very high between gene homologues. To efficiently achieve site/gene-specific mutation is quite needed. Due to its high efficiency and robustness, the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas9 system has exerted broad site-specific genome editing from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. In this study, we utilized a CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate two sgRNAs in a single vector to conduct multiple sites genome editing in allotetraploid cotton. An exogenously transformed gene Discosoma red fluorescent protein2(DsRed2) and an endogenous gene GhCLA1 were chosen as targets. The DsRed2-edited plants in T0 generation reverted its traits to wild type, with vanished red fluorescence the whole plants. Besides, the mutated phenotype and genotype were inherited to their T1 progenies. For the endogenous gene GhCLA1, 75% of regenerated plants exhibited albino phenotype with obvious nucleotides and DNA fragments deletion. The efficiency of gene editing at each target site is 66.7-100%. The mutation genotype was checked for both genes with Sanger sequencing. Barcode-based high-throughput sequencing, which could be highly efficient for genotyping to a population of mutants, was conducted in GhCLA1-edited T0 plants and it matched well with Sanger sequencing results. No off-target editing was detected at the potential off-target sites. These results prove that the CRISPR/Cas9 system is highly efficient and reliable for allotetraploid cotton genome editing. © 2017 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. RNA-guided genome editing in plants using a CRISPR-Cas system.

    PubMed

    Xie, Kabin; Yang, Yinong

    2013-11-01

    Precise and straightforward methods to edit the plant genome are much needed for functional genomics and crop improvement. Recently, RNA-guided genome editing using bacterial Type II cluster regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated nuclease (Cas) is emerging as an efficient tool for genome editing in microbial and animal systems. Here, we report the genome editing and targeted gene mutation in plants via the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Three guide RNAs (gRNAs) with a 20-22-nt seed region were designed to pair with distinct rice genomic sites which are followed by the protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM). The engineered gRNAs were shown to direct the Cas9 nuclease for precise cleavage at the desired sites and introduce mutation (insertion or deletion) by error-prone non-homologous end joining DNA repairing. By analyzing the RNA-guided genome-editing events, the mutation efficiency at these target sites was estimated to be 3-8%. In addition, the off-target effect of an engineered gRNA-Cas9 was found on an imperfectly paired genomic site, but it had lower genome-editing efficiency than the perfectly matched site. Further analysis suggests that mismatch position between gRNA seed and target DNA is an important determinant of the gRNA-Cas9 targeting specificity, and specific gRNAs could be designed to target more than 90% of rice genes. Our results demonstrate that the CRISPR-Cas system can be exploited as a powerful tool for gene targeting and precise genome editing in plants.

  16. CasA mediates Cas3-catalyzed target degradation during CRISPR RNA-guided interference.

    PubMed

    Hochstrasser, Megan L; Taylor, David W; Bhat, Prashant; Guegler, Chantal K; Sternberg, Samuel H; Nogales, Eva; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2014-05-06

    In bacteria, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated (Cas) DNA-targeting complex Cascade (CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense) uses CRISPR RNA (crRNA) guides to bind complementary DNA targets at sites adjacent to a trinucleotide signature sequence called the protospacer adjacent motif (PAM). The Cascade complex then recruits Cas3, a nuclease-helicase that catalyzes unwinding and cleavage of foreign double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bearing a sequence matching that of the crRNA. Cascade comprises the CasA-E proteins and one crRNA, forming a structure that binds and unwinds dsDNA to form an R loop in which the target strand of the DNA base pairs with the 32-nt RNA guide sequence. Single-particle electron microscopy reconstructions of dsDNA-bound Cascade with and without Cas3 reveal that Cascade positions the PAM-proximal end of the DNA duplex at the CasA subunit and near the site of Cas3 association. The finding that the DNA target and Cas3 colocalize with CasA implicates this subunit in a key target-validation step during DNA interference. We show biochemically that base pairing of the PAM region is unnecessary for target binding but critical for Cas3-mediated degradation. In addition, the L1 loop of CasA, previously implicated in PAM recognition, is essential for Cas3 activation following target binding by Cascade. Together, these data show that the CasA subunit of Cascade functions as an essential partner of Cas3 by recognizing DNA target sites and positioning Cas3 adjacent to the PAM to ensure cleavage.

  17. CRISPR-Based Technologies: Prokaryotic Defense Weapons Repurposed

    PubMed Central

    Terns, Rebecca M.; Terns, Michael P.

    2014-01-01

    Summary To combat potentially deadly viral infections, prokaryotic microbes enlist small RNA-based adaptive immune systems (CRISPR-Cas systems) that protect through sequence-specific recognition and targeted destruction of viral nucleic acids (either DNA or RNA depending on the system). Here, we summarize rapid progress made in redirecting the nuclease activities of these microbial immune systems to bind and cleave DNA or RNA targets of choice, by reprogramming the small guide RNAs of the various CRISPR-Cas complexes. These studies have demonstrated the potential of Type II CRISPR-Cas systems both as efficient and versatile genome editing tools and as potent and specific regulators of gene expression in a very broad range of cell types (including human) and organisms. Progress is also being made in developing a Type III RNA-targeting CRISPR-Cas system as a novel gene knockdown platform to investigate gene function and modulate gene expression for metabolic engineering in microbes. PMID:24555991

  18. Diversity of CRISPR systems in the euryarchaeal Pyrococcales

    PubMed Central

    Norais, Cédric; Moisan, Annick; Gaspin, Christine; Clouet-d'Orval, Béatrice

    2013-01-01

    Pyrococcales are members of the order Thermococcales, a group of hyperthermophilic euryarchaea that are frequently found in deep sea hydrothermal vents. Infectious genetic elements, such as plasmids and viruses, remain a threat even in this remote environment and these microorganisms have developed several ways to fight their genetic invaders. Among these are the recently discovered CRISPR systems. In this review, we have combined and condensed available information on genetic elements infecting the Thermococcales and on the multiple CRISPR systems found in the Pyrococcales to fight them. Their organization and mode of action will be presented with emphasis on the Type III-B system that is the only CRISPR system known to target RNA molecules in a process reminiscent of RNA interference. The intriguing case of Pyrococcus abyssi, which is among the rare strains to present a CRISPR system devoid of the universal cas1 and cas2 genes, is also discussed. PMID:23422322

  19. Diversity and evolution of class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems.

    PubMed

    Shmakov, Sergey; Smargon, Aaron; Scott, David; Cox, David; Pyzocha, Neena; Yan, Winston; Abudayyeh, Omar O; Gootenberg, Jonathan S; Makarova, Kira S; Wolf, Yuri I; Severinov, Konstantin; Zhang, Feng; Koonin, Eugene V

    2017-03-01

    Class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems are characterized by effector modules that consist of a single multidomain protein, such as Cas9 or Cpf1. We designed a computational pipeline for the discovery of novel class 2 variants and used it to identify six new CRISPR-Cas subtypes. The diverse properties of these new systems provide potential for the development of versatile tools for genome editing and regulation. In this Analysis article, we present a comprehensive census of class 2 types and class 2 subtypes in complete and draft bacterial and archaeal genomes, outline evolutionary scenarios for the independent origin of different class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems from mobile genetic elements, and propose an amended classification and nomenclature of CRISPR-Cas.

  20. CRISPR system for genome engineering: the application for autophagy study.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jianzhou; Chew, Shirley Jia Li; Shi, Yin; Gong, Zhiyuan; Shen, Han-Ming

    2017-03-14

    CRISPR/Cas9 is the latest tool introduced in the field of genome engineering and is so far the best genome-editing tool as compared to its precedents such as, meganucleases, zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effectors (TALENs). The simple design and assembly of the CRISPR/Cas9 system makes genome editing easy to perform as it uses small guide RNAs that correspond to their DNA targets for high efficiency editing. This has helped open the doors for multiplexible genome targeting in many species that were intractable using old genetic perturbation techniques. Currently, The CRISPR system is revolutionizing the way biological researches are conducted and paves a bright future not only in research but also in medicine and biotechnology. In this review, we evaluated the history, types and structure, the mechanism of action of CRISPR/Cas System. In particular, we focused on the application of this powerful tool in autophagy research.

  1. Exploiting CRISPR/Cas: interference mechanisms and applications.

    PubMed

    Richter, Hagen; Randau, Lennart; Plagens, André

    2013-07-12

    The discovery of biological concepts can often provide a framework for the development of novel molecular tools, which can help us to further understand and manipulate life. One recent example is the elucidation of the prokaryotic adaptive immune system, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) that protects bacteria and archaea against viruses or conjugative plasmids. The immunity is based on small RNA molecules that are incorporated into versatile multi-domain proteins or protein complexes and specifically target viral nucleic acids via base complementarity. CRISPR/Cas interference machines are utilized to develop novel genome editing tools for different organisms. Here, we will review the latest progress in the elucidation and application of prokaryotic CRISPR/Cas systems and discuss possible future approaches to exploit the potential of these interference machineries.

  2. Applications of CRISPR/Cas9 in retinal degenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Ying-Qian; Tang, Luo-Sheng; Yoshida, Shigeo; Zhou, Ye-Di

    2017-01-01

    Gene therapy is a potentially effective treatment for retinal degenerative diseases. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system has been developed as a new genome-editing tool in ophthalmic studies. Recent advances in researches showed that CRISPR/Cas9 has been applied in generating animal models as well as gene therapy in vivo of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). It has also been shown as a potential attempt for clinic by combining with other technologies such as adeno-associated virus (AAV) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this review, we highlight the main points of further prospect of using CRISPR/Cas9 in targeting retinal degeneration. We also emphasize the potential applications of this technique in treating retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:28503441

  3. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 for biomedical discoveries.

    PubMed

    Riordan, Sean M; Heruth, Daniel P; Zhang, Li Q; Ye, Shui Qing

    2015-01-01

    The Clustered Regions of Interspersed Palindromic Repeats-Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9), a viral defense system found in bacteria and archaea, has emerged as a tour de force genome editing tool. The CRISPR/Cas9 system is much easier to customize and optimize because the site selection for DNA cleavage is guided by a short sequence of RNA rather than an engineered protein as in the systems of zinc finger nucleases (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN), and meganucleases. Although it still suffers from some off-target effects, the CRISPR/Cas9 system has been broadly and successfully applied for biomedical discoveries in a number of areas. In this review, we present a brief history and development of the CRISPR system and focus on the application of this genome editing technology for biomedical discoveries. We then present concise concluding remarks and future directions for this fast moving field.

  4. Genome Editing in Human Cells Using CRISPR/Cas Nucleases.

    PubMed

    Wyvekens, Nicolas; Tsai, Shengdar Q; Joung, J Keith

    2015-10-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) system has been broadly adopted for highly efficient genome editing in a variety of model organisms and human cell types. Unlike previous genome editing technologies such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), CRISPR/Cas technology does not require complex protein engineering and can be utilized by any researcher proficient in basic molecular biology and cell culture techniques. This unit describes protocols for design and cloning of vectors expressing single or multiplex gRNAs, for transient transfection of human cell lines, and for quantitation of mutation frequencies by T7 endonuclease I assay. These protocols also include guidance for using two improvements that increase the specificity of CRISPR/Cas nucleases: truncated gRNAs and dimeric RNA-guided FokI nucleases.

  5. An Era of CRISPR/ Cas9 Mediated Plant Genome Editing.

    PubMed

    Khurshid, Haris; Jan, Sohail Ahmad; Shinwari, Zabta Khan; Jamal, Muhammad; Shah, Sabir Hussain

    2017-09-07

    Recently the engineered nucleases have revolutionized genome editing to perturb gene expression at specific sites in complex eukaryotic genomes. Three important classes of these genome editing tools are Moreover, the more recent type II Clustered Regularly Inter-spaced Short Palindromic Repeats/Crispr associated protein (CRISPR/Cas9) system has become the most favorite plant genome editing tool for its precision and RNA based specificity unlike its counterparts which rely on protein based specificity. Plasmid-mediated co-delivery of multiple sgRNAs and Cas9 to the Plant cell can simultaneously alter more than one target loci which enable multiplex genome editing. In this review, we discuss recent advancements in the CRISPR/ Cas9 technology mechanism, theory and its applications in plants and agriculture. We also suggest that the CRISPR/ Cas9 as an effective genome editing tool, has vast potential for crop improvement and studying gene regulation mechanism and chromatin remodeling.

  6. Applications of CRISPR technologies in research and beyond.

    PubMed

    Barrangou, Rodolphe; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2016-09-08

    Programmable DNA cleavage using CRISPR-Cas9 enables efficient, site-specific genome engineering in single cells and whole organisms. In the research arena, versatile CRISPR-enabled genome editing has been used in various ways, such as controlling transcription, modifying epigenomes, conducting genome-wide screens and imaging chromosomes. CRISPR systems are already being used to alleviate genetic disorders in animals and are likely to be employed soon in the clinic to treat human diseases of the eye and blood. Two clinical trials using CRISPR-Cas9 for targeted cancer therapies have been approved in China and the United States. Beyond biomedical applications, these tools are now being used to expedite crop and livestock breeding, engineer new antimicrobials and control disease-carrying insects with gene drives.

  7. Exploiting CRISPR/Cas: Interference Mechanisms and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Hagen; Randau, Lennart; Plagens, André

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of biological concepts can often provide a framework for the development of novel molecular tools, which can help us to further understand and manipulate life. One recent example is the elucidation of the prokaryotic adaptive immune system, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) that protects bacteria and archaea against viruses or conjugative plasmids. The immunity is based on small RNA molecules that are incorporated into versatile multi-domain proteins or protein complexes and specifically target viral nucleic acids via base complementarity. CRISPR/Cas interference machines are utilized to develop novel genome editing tools for different organisms. Here, we will review the latest progress in the elucidation and application of prokaryotic CRISPR/Cas systems and discuss possible future approaches to exploit the potential of these interference machineries. PMID:23857052

  8. Degradation of phage transcripts by CRISPR-associated RNases enables type III CRISPR-Cas immunity

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Wenyan; Samai, Poulami; Marraffini, Luciano A.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Type III-A CRISPR-Cas systems defend prokaryotes against viral infection using CRISPR RNA (crRNA)-guided nucleases that perform co-transcriptional cleavage of the viral target DNA and its transcripts. Whereas DNA cleavage is essential for immunity, the function of RNA targeting is unknown. Here we show that transcription-dependent targeting results in a sharp increase of viral genomes in the host cell when the target is located in a late-expressed phage gene. In this targeting condition, mutations in the active sites of the type III-A RNases Csm3 and Csm6 lead to the accumulation of the target phage mRNA and abrogate immunity. Csm6 is also required to provide defense in the presence of mutated phage targets, when DNA cleavage efficiency is reduced. Our results show that the degradation of phage transcripts by CRISPR-associated RNases ensures robust immunity in situations that lead to a slow clearance of the target DNA. PMID:26853474

  9. Targeted activation of diverse CRISPR-Cas systems for mammalian genome editing via proximal CRISPR targeting

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fuqiang; Ding, Xiao; Feng, Yongmei; Seebeck, Timothy; Jiang, Yanfang; Davis, Gregory D.

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial CRISPR–Cas systems comprise diverse effector endonucleases with different targeting ranges, specificities and enzymatic properties, but many of them are inactive in mammalian cells and are thus precluded from genome-editing applications. Here we show that the type II-B FnCas9 from Francisella novicida possesses novel properties, but its nuclease function is frequently inhibited at many genomic loci in living human cells. Moreover, we develop a proximal CRISPR (termed proxy-CRISPR) targeting method that restores FnCas9 nuclease activity in a target-specific manner. We further demonstrate that this proxy-CRISPR strategy is applicable to diverse CRISPR–Cas systems, including type II-C Cas9 and type V Cpf1 systems, and can facilitate precise gene editing even between identical genomic sites within the same genome. Our findings provide a novel strategy to enable use of diverse otherwise inactive CRISPR–Cas systems for genome-editing applications and a potential path to modulate the impact of chromatin microenvironments on genome modification. PMID:28387220

  10. Perforation of the sigmoid colon due to intradiscal spacer dislocation.

    PubMed

    Ruf, Michael; Voigt, Andreas; Kupczyk-Joeris, Dieter; Merk, Harry R

    2011-07-01

    A case of late dislocation of a disc spacer L5/S1 with perforation of the sigmoid colon and transanal passage 4 years after implantation is reported. The objective is to describe an uncommon complication of anterior endoscopic spondylodesis L5/S1. To our knowledge, this is the first report on this rare complication. A 39-year-old patient suffering from a spondylolisthesis L5/S1 (Meyerding grade 2) with bilateral lysis L5 was operated with posterior instrumentation L5/S1 and anterior endoscopic insertion of two disc spacers. 4 years after surgery the patient noticed one of the spacers in the toilet. Radiographic examination of the colon with contrast dye revealed a perforation at the distal sigmoid colon. At the lumbosacral junction there was a bony defect at the site of the absent spacer and an anterior dislocation of the second spacer. A partial resection of the colon at the perforation site with end-to-end anastomosis was performed. The second spacer was removed, and the defect was packed with autologous cancellous bone and local antibiotics. The further course was uneventful. 2 weeks postoperatively the patient was discharged without signs of infection. The radiographic examination after 6 months showed healing of the bone graft with bony fusion L5/S1. In case of incomplete or absent bony fusion the dislocation of intradiscal spacers may arise even years after the primary surgery. In consequence periodical radiographic examinations of spinal instrumentations are recommended until complete bony fusion occurred. Unclear abdominal symptoms following anterior spine surgery require immediate examination.

  11. Reducing electrostatic charge on spacer devices and bronchodilator response

    PubMed Central

    Wildhaber, Johannes H; Waterer, Grant W; Hall, Graham L; Summers, Quentin A

    2000-01-01

    Aims Plastic spacers are widely used with pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDI). Reducing electrostatic charge by washing spacers with detergent has been shown to greatly improve in vitro and in vivo drug delivery. We assessed whether this finding is associated with an improved bronchodilator response in adult asthmatics. Methods Twenty subjects (age 18–65 years) with a known bronchodilator response inhaled in random order salbutamol from a pMDI (Ventolin®) through an untreated new spacer (Volumatic®) and through a detergent washed spacer. Patients received the following doses of salbutamol via pMDI at 20 min intervals: 100 µg, 100 µg, 200 µg, 400 µg, 800 µg. Spirometry, heart rate and blood pressure were checked prior to each dose and 20 min after the last dose. Results There were no differences between baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) using either spacer (2.61 ± 0.56 and 2.52 ± 0.45 l, untreated and treated with detergent, respectively; mean ±s.d.). The provocation dose required to cause a clinically significant improvement of 10% in FEV1 (PD10) was significantly lower when the detergent treated spacer was used (1505 ± 1335 and 430 ± 732 µg, untreated and treated, respectively, P < 0.002). Conclusions We have demonstrated an improvement in bronchodilator response, in adult asthmatics, after reducing the electrostatic charge in a spacer device by washing it with ordinary household detergent. This finding stresses the importance of an optimal choice of delivery device for asthma medication. PMID:10971314

  12. SnapShot: CRISPR-RNA-guided adaptive immune systems.

    PubMed

    Carter, Joshua; Wiedenheft, Blake

    2015-09-24

    Bacteria and archaea have evolved sophisticated adaptive immune systems that reply on CRISPR loci and a diverse cassette of Cas genes that are classified into three main types and at least eleven subtypes. All CRISPR-Cas immune systems operate through three main stages: acquisition, biogenesis, and interference. This SnapShot summarizes our current knowledge of these fascinating immune systems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Bacteriophage genes that inactivate the CRISPR/Cas bacterial immune system.

    PubMed

    Bondy-Denomy, Joe; Pawluk, April; Maxwell, Karen L; Davidson, Alan R

    2013-01-17

    A widespread system used by bacteria for protection against potentially dangerous foreign DNA molecules consists of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) coupled with cas (CRISPR-associated) genes. Similar to RNA interference in eukaryotes, these CRISPR/Cas systems use small RNAs for sequence-specific detection and neutralization of invading genomes. Here we describe the first examples of genes that mediate the inhibition of a CRISPR/Cas system. Five distinct 'anti-CRISPR' genes were found in the genomes of bacteriophages infecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Mutation of the anti-CRISPR gene of a phage rendered it unable to infect bacteria with a functional CRISPR/Cas system, and the addition of the same gene to the genome of a CRISPR/Cas-targeted phage allowed it to evade the CRISPR/Cas system. Phage-encoded anti-CRISPR genes may represent a widespread mechanism for phages to overcome the highly prevalent CRISPR/Cas systems. The existence of anti-CRISPR genes presents new avenues for the elucidation of CRISPR/Cas functional mechanisms and provides new insight into the co-evolution of phages and bacteria.

  14. Efficient CRISPR-rAAV engineering of endogenous genes to study protein function by allele-specific RNAi.

    PubMed

    Kaulich, Manuel; Lee, Yeon J; Lönn, Peter; Springer, Aaron D; Meade, Bryan R; Dowdy, Steven F

    2015-04-20

    Gene knockout strategies, RNAi and rescue experiments are all employed to study mammalian gene function. However, the disadvantages of these approaches include: loss of function adaptation, reduced viability and gene overexpression that rarely matches endogenous levels. Here, we developed an endogenous gene knockdown/rescue strategy that combines RNAi selectivity with a highly efficient CRISPR directed recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus (rAAV) mediated gene targeting approach to introduce allele-specific mutations plus an allele-selective siRNA Sensitive (siSN) site that allows for studying gene mutations while maintaining endogenous expression and regulation of the gene of interest. CRISPR/Cas9 plus rAAV targeted gene-replacement and introduction of allele-specific RNAi sensitivity mutations in the CDK2 and CDK1 genes resulted in a >85% site-specific recombination of Neo-resistant clones versus ∼8% for rAAV alone. RNAi knockdown of wild type (WT) Cdk2 with siWT in heterozygotic knockin cells resulted in the mutant Cdk2 phenotype cell cycle arrest, whereas allele specific knockdown of mutant CDK2 with siSN resulted in a wild type phenotype. Together, these observations demonstrate the ability of CRISPR plus rAAV to efficiently recombine a genomic locus and tag it with a selective siRNA sequence that allows for allele-selective phenotypic assays of the gene of interest while it remains expressed and regulated under endogenous control mechanisms.

  15. CRISPR Editing Technology in Biological and Biomedical Investigation.

    PubMed

    White, Martyn K; Kaminski, Rafal; Young, Won-Bin; Roehm, Pamela C; Khalili, Kamel

    2017-11-01

    The CRISPR or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats system is currently the most advanced approach to genome editing and is notable for providing an unprecedented degree of specificity, effectiveness, and versatility in genetic manipulation. CRISPR evolved as a prokaryotic immune system to provide an acquired immunity and resistance to foreign genetic elements such as bacteriophages. It has recently been developed into a tool for the specific targeting of nucleotide sequences within complex eukaryotic genomes for the purpose of genetic manipulation. The power of CRISPR lies in its simplicity and ease of use, its flexibility to be targeted to any given nucleotide sequence by the choice of an easily synthesized guide RNA, and its ready ability to continue to undergo technical improvements. Applications for CRISPR are numerous including creation of novel transgenic cell animals for research, high-throughput screening of gene function, potential clinical gene therapy, and nongene-editing approaches such as modulating gene activity and fluorescent tagging. In this prospect article, we will describe the salient features of the CRISPR system with an emphasis on important drawbacks and considerations with respect to eliminating off-target events and obtaining efficient CRISPR delivery. We will discuss recent technical developments to the system and we will illustrate some of the most recent applications with an emphasis on approaches to eliminate human viruses including HIV-1, JCV and HSV-1 and prospects for the future. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 3586-3594, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Efficient CRISPR/Cas9-based gene knockout in watermelon.

    PubMed

    Tian, Shouwei; Jiang, Linjian; Gao, Qiang; Zhang, Jie; Zong, Mei; Zhang, Haiying; Ren, Yi; Guo, Shaogui; Gong, Guoyi; Liu, Fan; Xu, Yong

    2017-03-01

    CRISPR/Cas9 system can precisely edit genomic sequence and effectively create knockout mutations in T0 generation watermelon plants. Genome editing offers great advantage to reveal gene function and generate agronomically important mutations to crops. Recently, RNA-guided genome editing system using the type II clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated protein 9 (Cas9) has been applied to several plant species, achieving successful targeted mutagenesis. Here, we report the genome of watermelon, an important fruit crop, can also be precisely edited by CRISPR/Cas9 system. ClPDS, phytoene desaturase in watermelon, was selected as the target gene because its mutant bears evident albino phenotype. CRISPR/Cas9 system performed genome editing, such as insertions or deletions at the expected position, in transfected watermelon protoplast cells. More importantly, all transgenic watermelon plants harbored ClPDS mutations and showed clear or mosaic albino phenotype, indicating that CRISPR/Cas9 system has technically 100% of genome editing efficiency in transgenic watermelon lines. Furthermore, there were very likely no off-target mutations, indicated by examining regions that were highly homologous to sgRNA sequences. Our results show that CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful tool to effectively create knockout mutations in watermelon.

  17. Conservation of sequence in recombination signal sequence spacers.

    PubMed Central

    Ramsden, D A; Baetz, K; Wu, G E

    1994-01-01

    The variable domains of immunoglobulins and T cell receptors are assembled through the somatic, site specific recombination of multiple germline segments (V, D, and J segments) or V(D)J rearrangement. The recombination signal sequence (RSS) is necessary and sufficient for cell type specific targeting of the V(D)J rearrangement machinery to these germline segments. Previously, the RSS has been described as possessing both a conserved heptamer and a conserved nonamer motif. The heptamer and nonamer motifs are separated by a 'spacer' that was not thought to possess significant sequence conservation, however the length of the spacer could be either 12 +/- 1 bp or 23 +/- 1 bp long. In this report we have assembled and analyzed an extensive data base of published RSS. We have derived, through extensive consensus comparison, a more detailed description of the RSS than has previously been reported. Our analysis indicates that RSS spacers possess significant conservation of sequence, and that the conserved sequence in 12 bp spacers is similar to the conserved sequence in the first half of 23 bp spacers. PMID:8208601

  18. Impact of spacer thickness on biofouling in forward osmosis.

    PubMed

    Valladares Linares, R; Bucs, Sz S; Li, Z; AbuGhdeeb, M; Amy, G; Vrouwenvelder, J S

    2014-06-15

    Forward osmosis (FO) indirect desalination systems integrate wastewater recovery with seawater desalination. Niche applications for FO systems have been reported recently, due to the demonstrated advantages compared to conventional high-pressure membrane processes such as nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO). Among them, wastewater recovery has been identified to be particularly suitable for practical applications. However, biofouling in FO membranes has rarely been studied in applications involving wastewater effluents. Feed spacers separating the membrane sheets in cross-flow systems play an important role in biofilm formation. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of feed spacer thickness (28, 31 and 46 mil) on biofouling development and membrane performance in a FO system, using identical cross-flow cells in parallel studies. Flux development, biomass accumulation, fouling localization and composition were determined and analyzed. For all spacer thicknesses, operated at the same feed flow and the same run time, the same amount of biomass was found, while the flux reduction decreased with thicker spacers. These observations are in good agreement with biofouling studies for RO systems, considering the key differences between FO and RO. Our findings contradict previous cross-flow studies on particulate/colloidal fouling, where higher cross-flow velocities improved system performance. Thicker spacers reduced the impact of biofouling on FO membrane flux. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Space Station Long Spacer Element begins processing at KSC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The Long Spacer, a component of the International Space Station, arrives and is moved to its test stand in the northeast corner of the high bay in KSC's Space Station Processing Facility. The Long Spacer provides structural support for the outboard Photovoltaic Modules that supply power to the station. Now just a structure, the Long Spacer will have attached to it as part of processing a heat dissipation radiator and two Pump and Flow Control subassemblies that circulate ammonia to cool the solar array electronics. Also to be mounted are ammonia fluid lines as part of the cooling system and the cabling necessary for power and control of the station. The Long Spacer becomes an integral part of a station truss segment when it is mated with the Integrated Equipment Assembly, which stores the electrical power generated by the solar arrays for use by the station modules. The Long Spacer is being processed in preparation for STS-97, currently planned for launch aboard Discovery in April 1999.

  20. Gas-insulated substation spacer surface degradation analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, F.Y.; Braun, J.M. )

    1990-06-01

    The objective of the project was to develop surface analysis techniques which can correlate the performance of spacers in SF{sub 6} insulated switchgear with changes in their dielectric and chemical characteristics after exposure to SF{sub 6} arcing byproducts and low energy flashovers. Critical material parameters responsible for spacer performance were investigated by optical and scanning electron microscopy, electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis, thermogravimetric analysis and electrical surface resistance measurements. Results related to arc byproduct resistance and tracking resistance of seven types of filled epoxy spacer materials are presented. Degradation mechanisms have been proposed to explain the differing material behaviour. The study shows that the interaction of certain types of filler and resin systems with the SF{sub 6} spark and the decomposed gas is responsible for the degradation in impulse withstand performance. A practical technique using surface electrical resistance to detect degraded spacer after exposure to large quantities of arc byproducts has been developed and the construction of a probe for spacer surface assessment was described. 15 refs., 28 figs., 8 tabs.

  1. CRISPR-Cas9 and CRISPR-Cpf1 mediated targeting of a stomatal developmental gene EPFL9 in rice.

    PubMed

    Yin, Xiaojia; Biswal, Akshaya K; Dionora, Jacqueline; Perdigon, Kristel M; Balahadia, Christian P; Mazumdar, Shamik; Chater, Caspar; Lin, Hsiang-Chun; Coe, Robert A; Kretzschmar, Tobias; Gray, Julie E; Quick, Paul W; Bandyopadhyay, Anindya

    2017-05-01

    CRISPR-Cas9/Cpf1 system with its unique gene targeting efficiency, could be an important tool for functional study of early developmental genes through the generation of successful knockout plants. The introduction and utilization of systems biology approaches have identified several genes that are involved in early development of a plant and with such knowledge a robust tool is required for the functional validation of putative candidate genes thus obtained. The development of the CRISPR-Cas9/Cpf1 genome editing system has provided a convenient tool for creating loss of function mutants for genes of interest. The present study utilized CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR-Cpf1 technology to knock out an early developmental gene EPFL9 (Epidermal Patterning Factor like-9, a positive regulator of stomatal development in Arabidopsis) orthologue in rice. Germ-line mutants that were generated showed edits that were carried forward into the T2 generation when Cas9-free homozygous mutants were obtained. The homozygous mutant plants showed more than an eightfold reduction in stomatal density on the abaxial leaf surface of the edited rice plants. Potential off-target analysis showed no significant off-target effects. This study also utilized the CRISPR-LbCpf1 (Lachnospiracae bacterium Cpf1) to target the same OsEPFL9 gene to test the activity of this class-2 CRISPR system in rice and found that Cpf1 is also capable of genome editing and edits get transmitted through generations with similar phenotypic changes seen with CRISPR-Cas9. This study demonstrates the application of CRISPR-Cas9/Cpf1 to precisely target genomic locations and develop transgene-free homozygous heritable gene edits and confirms that the loss of function analysis of the candidate genes emerging from different systems biology based approaches, could be performed, and therefore, this system adds value in the validation of gene function studies.

  2. CRISPR-Cas type I-A Cascade complex couples viral infection surveillance to host transcriptional regulation in the dependence of Csa3b

    PubMed Central

    He, Fei; Vestergaard, Gisle; Peng, Wenfang; She, Qunxin

    2017-01-01

    Abstract CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and the associated genes) constitute adaptive immune systems in bacteria and archaea and they provide sequence specific immunity against foreign nucleic acids. CRISPR-Cas systems are activated by viral infection. However, little is known about how CRISPR-Cas systems are activated in response to viral infection or how their expression is controlled in the absence of viral infection. Here, we demonstrate that both the transcriptional regulator Csa3b, and the type I-A interference complex Cascade, are required to transcriptionally repress the interference gene cassette in the archaeon Sulfolobus. Csa3b binds to two palindromic repeat sites in the promoter region of the cassette and facilitates binding of the Cascade to the promoter region. Upon viral infection, loading of Cascade complexes onto crRNA-matching protospacers leads to relief of the transcriptional repression. Our data demonstrate a mechanism coupling CRISPR-Cas surveillance of protospacers to transcriptional regulation of the interference gene cassette thereby allowing a fast response to viral infection. PMID:27980065

  3. An Active Immune Defense with a Minimal CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) RNA and without the Cas6 Protein*

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Lisa-Katharina; Stachler, Aris-Edda; Saunders, Sita J.; Backofen, Rolf; Marchfelder, Anita

    2015-01-01

    The prokaryotic immune system CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated) is a defense system that protects prokaryotes against foreign DNA. The short CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) are central components of this immune system. In CRISPR-Cas systems type I and III, crRNAs are generated by the endonuclease Cas6. We developed a Cas6b-independent crRNA maturation pathway for the Haloferax type I-B system in vivo that expresses a functional crRNA, which we termed independently generated crRNA (icrRNA). The icrRNA is effective in triggering degradation of an invader plasmid carrying the matching protospacer sequence. The Cas6b-independent maturation of the icrRNA allowed mutation of the repeat sequence without interfering with signals important for Cas6b processing. We generated 23 variants of the icrRNA and analyzed them for activity in the interference reaction. icrRNAs with deletions or mutations of the 3′ handle are still active in triggering an interference reaction. The complete 3′ handle could be removed without loss of activity. However, manipulations of the 5′ handle mostly led to loss of interference activity. Furthermore, we could show that in the presence of an icrRNA a strain without Cas6b (Δcas6b) is still active in interference. PMID:25512373

  4. An active immune defense with a minimal CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) RNA and without the Cas6 protein.

    PubMed

    Maier, Lisa-Katharina; Stachler, Aris-Edda; Saunders, Sita J; Backofen, Rolf; Marchfelder, Anita

    2015-02-13

    The prokaryotic immune system CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated) is a defense system that protects prokaryotes against foreign DNA. The short CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) are central components of this immune system. In CRISPR-Cas systems type I and III, crRNAs are generated by the endonuclease Cas6. We developed a Cas6b-independent crRNA maturation pathway for the Haloferax type I-B system in vivo that expresses a functional crRNA, which we termed independently generated crRNA (icrRNA). The icrRNA is effective in triggering degradation of an invader plasmid carrying the matching protospacer sequence. The Cas6b-independent maturation of the icrRNA allowed mutation of the repeat sequence without interfering with signals important for Cas6b processing. We generated 23 variants of the icrRNA and analyzed them for activity in the interference reaction. icrRNAs with deletions or mutations of the 3' handle are still active in triggering an interference reaction. The complete 3' handle could be removed without loss of activity. However, manipulations of the 5' handle mostly led to loss of interference activity. Furthermore, we could show that in the presence of an icrRNA a strain without Cas6b (Δcas6b) is still active in interference. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. A new group of phage anti-CRISPR genes inhibits the type I-E CRISPR-Cas system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Pawluk, April; Bondy-Denomy, Joseph; Cheung, Vivian H W; Maxwell, Karen L; Davidson, Alan R

    2014-04-15

    CRISPR-Cas systems are one of the most widespread phage resistance mechanisms in prokaryotes. Our lab recently identified the first examples of phage-borne anti-CRISPR genes that encode protein inhibitors of the type I-F CRISPR-Cas system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A key question arising from this work was whether there are other types of anti-CRISPR genes. In the current work, we address this question by demonstrating that some of the same phages carrying type I-F anti-CRISPR genes also possess genes that mediate inhibition of the type I-E CRISPR-Cas system of P. aeruginosa. We have discovered four distinct families of these type I-E anti-CRISPR genes. These genes do not inhibit the type I-F CRISPR-Cas system of P. aeruginosa or the type I-E system of Escherichia coli. Type I-E and I-F anti-CRISPR genes are located at the same position in the genomes of a large group of related P. aeruginosa phages, yet they are found in a variety of combinations and arrangements. We have also identified functional anti-CRISPR genes within nonprophage Pseudomonas genomic regions that are likely mobile genetic elements. This work emphasizes the potential importance of anti-CRISPR genes in phage evolution and lateral gene transfer and supports the hypothesis that more undiscovered families of anti-CRISPR genes exist. Finally, we provide the first demonstration that the type I-E CRISPR-Cas system of P. aeruginosa is naturally active without genetic manipulation, which contrasts with E. coli and other previously characterized I-E systems. IMPORTANCE The CRISPR-Cas system is an adaptive immune system possessed by the majority of prokaryotic organisms to combat potentially harmful foreign genetic elements. This study reports the discovery of bacteriophage-encoded anti-CRISPR genes that mediate inhibition of a well-studied subtype of CRISPR-Cas system. The four families of anti-CRISPR genes described here, which comprise only the second group of anti-CRISPR genes to be identified, encode

  6. Programmable RNA recognition and cleavage by CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Mitchell R; Oakes, Benjamin L; Sternberg, Samuel H; East-Seletsky, Alexandra; Kaplan, Matias; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2014-12-11

    The CRISPR-associated protein Cas9 is an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease that uses RNA-DNA complementarity to identify target sites for sequence-specific double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) cleavage. In its native context, Cas9 acts on DNA substrates exclusively because both binding and catalysis require recognition of a short DNA sequence, known as the protospacer adjacent motif (PAM), next to and on the strand opposite the twenty-nucleotide target site in dsDNA. Cas9 has proven to be a versatile tool for genome engineering and gene regulation in a large range of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell types, and in whole organisms, but it has been thought to be incapable of targeting RNA. Here we show that Cas9 binds with high affinity to single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) targets matching the Cas9-associated guide RNA sequence when the PAM is presented in trans as a separate DNA oligonucleotide. Furthermore, PAM-presenting oligonucleotides (PAMmers) stimulate site-specific endonucleolytic cleavage of ssRNA targets, similar to PAM-mediated stimulation of Cas9-catalysed DNA cleavage. Using specially designed PAMmers, Cas9 can be specifically directed to bind or cut RNA targets while avoiding corresponding DNA sequences, and we demonstrate that this strategy enables the isolation of a specific endogenous messenger RNA from cells. These results reveal a fundamental connection between PAM binding and substrate selection by Cas9, and highlight the utility of Cas9 for programmable transcript recognition without the need for tags.

  7. Wheeze in childhood: is the spacer good enough?

    PubMed Central

    Rajkumar, Veena; Rajendra, Barathi; How, Choon How; Ang, Seng Bin

    2014-01-01

    Max was treated with SABA using an MDI and spacer with facemask and responded well to the initial treatment. You explained to the parents that nebulisers are neither required nor recommended in the treatment of wheezing in their child’s situation. You advised the parents on the proper technique of MDI use with spacer and facemask, as well as care of the equipment. You also gave them a clearly written action plan regarding the efficient management of the next episode of wheeze with MDI and spacer. You further explained the side effects of oral bronchodilators and nebulisers, and why you refrained from using them. Max was given a follow-up appointment to assess his progress, and his parents were advised on the situations when they should go to a doctor or the emergency department. PMID:25631964

  8. Wheeze in childhood: is the spacer good enough?

    PubMed

    Rajkumar, Veena; Rajendra, Barathi; How, Choon How; Ang, Seng Bin

    2014-11-01

    Max was treated with SABA using an MDI and spacer with facemask and responded well to the initial treatment. You explained to the parents that nebulisers are neither required nor recommended in the treatment of wheezing in their child's situation. You advised the parents on the proper technique of MDI use with spacer and facemask, as well as care of the equipment. You also gave them a clearly written action plan regarding the efficient management of the next episode of wheeze with MDI and spacer. You further explained the side effects of oral bronchodilators and nebulisers, and why you refrained from using them. Max was given a follow-up appointment to assess his progress, and his parents were advised on the situations when they should go to a doctor or the emergency department.

  9. Application of CRISPR-Cas system in gene therapy: Pre-clinical progress in animal model.

    PubMed

    Guan, Lihong; Han, Yawei; Zhu, Shaoyi; Lin, Juntang

    2016-10-01

    The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and their associated proteins (Cas) belong to the crucial adaptive immune system, which exist in archaea and bacteria. Currently, CRISPR-Cas9 system has been modified and widely used to edit genome. In this review, we summarized the discovery, classification and mechanism of CRISPR-Cas system and further discussed the application of CRISPR-Cas9 in gene therapy, mainly in disease models.

  10. Spacer-related problems in two-stage revision knee arthroplasty.

    PubMed

    Struelens, Bernard; Claes, Steven; Bellemans, Johan

    2013-08-01

    Although articulated cement spacers are frequently used in a staged approach of an infected total knee arthroplasty (TKA), no data are available on the incidence and type of spacer-related problems in these patients. A retrospective analysis of 154 patients who underwent a two-stage revision procedure for an infected TKA was performed. All patients received an articulating cement spacer at the implant removal procedure; their radiographs were analyzed for spacer-related issues such as spacer dislocation, fracture, tilting or translation, and knee subluxation. In 43% of the patients, the spacer was considered as optimal. The main finding of this study is the large incidence (57%) of spacer-specific problems in two-stage revision knee arthroplasty for infected TKA. Spacer tilting and mediolateral translation were found to be the most frequent spacer-specific problems, in 24% and 21% of the cases respectively. These were considered as minor problems. Major problems were seen in 12 % : in 3% of the knees the spacer had dislocated, in 5% the spacer fractured and in 4%, although the spacer seemed to be adequately positioned relative to the femoral and tibial bone, frank knee subluxation could be noted. The impact of spacer-specific problems with articulating ce