CRISPR-Cas: a brief overview


  • Yusuf Ercin Sonmez



CRISPR-Cas, adaptive immunity, future infections, genome editing, carcinogenesis


CRISPR-Cas is an adaptive immunity in prokaryotes against infections by viruses and plasmids. CRISPR array recognizes foreign sequences of the invaders and Cas destroys them. Using this system seems possible to find the unwanted sequences in the genome and to destroy or to change them with the suitable ones. This system might not only protect ourselves from the future infections but also correct congenital abnormalities which may predispose to carcinogenesis or some congenital diseases.


Ishino Y, Shinagawa H, Makino K, Amemura M, Nakata A. Nucleotide sequence of the iap gene, responsible for alkaline phosphatase isozyme conversion in Escherichia coli, and identification of the gene product. J Bacteriol. 1987 Dec;169(12):5429-5433. doi:10.1128/jb.169.12.5429-5433.

Van Soolingen D, de Haas PE, Hermans PW, Groenen PM, van Embden JD. Comparison of various repetitive DNA elements as genetic markers for strain differentiation and epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Aug;31(8):1987-1995. doi:10.1128/JCM.31.8.1987-1995.1993.

Mojica FJM, Montoliu L. On the Origin of CRISPR-Cas Technology: From Prokaryotes to Mammals. Trends Microbiol. 2016 Oct;24(10):811-820. doi:10.1016/j.tim.2016.06.005.

Mojica FJ, Rodriguez-Valera F. The discovery of CRISPR in archaea and bacteria. FEBS J. 2016 Sep;283(17):3162-3169. doi:10.1111/febs.13766.

Jansen R, Embden JD, Gaastra W, Schouls LM. Identification of genes that are associated with DNA repeats in prokaryotes. Mol Microbiol. 2002 Mar;43(6):1565-1575. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.2002.02839.x.

Mojica FJM, Garett RA. Discovery and Seminal Developments in the CRISPR Field. In:Barrangou R, van der Ost, editors. CRISPR-Cas Systems: RNA-mediated Adaptive immunity in Bacteria and Archaea. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag; 2013. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-34657-6. 6 p.

Horvath P, Barrangou R. CRISPR/Cas, the immune system of bacteria and archaea. Science. 2010 Jan 8;327(5962):167-170. doi:10.1126/science.1179555.

Pourcel C, Salvignol G, Vergnaud G. CRISPR elements in Yersinia pestis acquire new repeats by preferential uptake of bacteriophage DNA, and provide additional tools for evolutionary studies. Microbiology (Reading). 2005 Mar;151(Pt 3):653-663. doi:10.1099/mic.0.27437-0.

Bolotin A, Quinquis B, Sorokin A, Ehrlich SD. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindrome repeats (CRISPRs) have spacers of extrachromosomal origin. Microbiology (Reading). 2005 Aug;151(Pt 8):2551-2561. doi:10.1099/mic.0.28048-0.

Garneau JE, Dupuis MÈ, Villion M, et al. The CRISPR/Cas bacterial immune system cleaves bacteriophage and plasmid DNA. Nature. 2010 Nov 4;468(7320):67-71. doi:10.1038/nature09523.

Barrangou R, Fremaux C, Deveau H, et al. CRISPR provides acquired resistance against viruses in prokaryotes. Science. 2007 Mar 23;315(5819):1709-1712. doi:10.1126/science.1138140.

Mojica FJ, Díez-Villaseñor C, García-Martínez J, Soria E. Intervening sequences of regularly spaced prokaryotic repeats derive from foreign genetic elements. J Mol Evol. 2005 Feb;60(2):174-182. doi: 10.1007/s00239-004-0046-3.

Makarova KS, Wolf YI, Alkhnbashi OS, et al. An updated evolutionary classification of CRISPR-Cas systems. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 Nov;13(11):722-36. doi:10.1038/nrmicro3569.

Shmakov S, Abudayyeh OO, Makarova KS, et al. Discovery and Functional Characterization of Diverse Class 2 CRISPR-Cas Systems. Mol Cell. 2015 Nov 5;60(3):385-397. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2015.10.008.

Hsu PD, Lander ES, Zhang F. Development and applications of CRISPR-Cas9 for genome engineering. Cell. 2014 Jun 5;157(6):1262-1278. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.05.010.

Fu Y, Foden JA, Khayter C, et al. High-frequency off-target mutagenesis induced by CRISPR-Cas nucleases in human cells. Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Sep;31(9):822-826. doi:10.1038/nbt.2623.

Kim S, Kim D, Cho SW, Kim J, Kim JS. Highly efficient RNA-guided genome editing in human cells via delivery of purified Cas9 ribonucleoproteins. Genome Res. 2014 Jun;24(6):1012-1019. doi:10.1101/gr.171322.113.






Guest Articles