Acharya S, Mishra A, Paul D, et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2019, vol: 116(42) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1818461116
Genome editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 system has been used to make precise heritable changes in the DNA of organisms. Although the widely used Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9) and its engineered variants have been efficiently harnessed for numerous gene-editing applications across different platforms, concerns remain regarding their putative off-targeting at multiple loci across the genome. Here we report that Francisella novicida Cas9 (FnCas9) shows a very high specificity of binding to its intended targets and negligible binding to off-target loci. The specificity is determined by its minimal binding affinity with DNA when mismatches to the target single-guide RNA (sgRNA) are present in the sgRNA:DNA heteroduplex. FnCas9 produces staggered cleavage, higher homology-directed repair rates, and very low nonspecific genome editing compared to SpCas9. We demonstrate FnCas9-mediated correction of the sickle cell mutation in patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells and propose that it can be used for precise therapeutic genome editing for a wide variety of genetic disorders.
Topics: Gene Therapy, Monolith – MicroScale Thermophoresis, MST, Publications