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Trends in microbiology

Antiviral Goes Viral: Harnessing CRISPR/Cas9 to Combat Viruses in Humans.


PMID 28522157

Abstract

The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems are RNA-guided sequence-specific prokaryotic antiviral immune systems. In prokaryotes, small RNA molecules guide Cas effector endonucleases to invading foreign genetic elements in a sequence-dependent manner, resulting in DNA cleavage by the endonuclease upon target binding. A rewired CRISPR/Cas9 system can be used for targeted and precise genome editing in eukaryotic cells. CRISPR/Cas has also been harnessed to target human pathogenic viruses as a potential new antiviral strategy. Here, we review recent CRISPR/Cas9-based approaches to combat specific human viruses in humans and discuss challenges that need to be overcome before CRISPR/Cas9 may be used in the clinic as an antiviral strategy.