Chimeric RNA: DNA TracrRNA Improves Homology-Directed Repair in Vitro and in Vivo

Brandon W. Simone, Han B. Lee, Camden L. Daby, Hirotaka Ata, Santiago Restrepo-Castillo, Gabriel Martínez-Gálvez, Bibekananda Kar, William A.C. Gendron, Karl J. Clark, Stephen C. Ekker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nearly 90% of human pathogenic mutations are caused by small genetic variations, and methods to correct these errors efficiently are critically important. One way to make small DNA changes is providing a single-stranded oligo deoxynucleotide (ssODN) containing an alteration coupled with a targeted double-strand break (DSB) at the target locus in the genome. Coupling an ssODN donor with a CRISPR-Cas9-mediated DSB is one of the most streamlined approaches to introduce small changes. However, in many systems, this approach is inefficient and introduces imprecise repair at the genetic junctions. We herein report a technology that uses spatiotemporal localization of an ssODN with CRISPR-Cas9 to improve gene alteration. We show that by fusing an ssODN template to the trans-activating RNA (tracrRNA), we recover precise genetic alterations, with increased integration and precision in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we show that this technology can be used to enhance gene conversion with other gene editing tools such as transcription activator like effector nucleases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalCRISPR Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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