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CRISPR-Trap: a clean approach for the generation of gene knockouts and gene replacements in human cells.

Molecular biology of the cell (2017-11-24)
Stefan Reber, Jonas Mechtersheimer, Sofia Nasif, Julio Aguila Benitez, Martino Colombo, Michal Domanski, Daniel Jutzi, Eva Hedlund, Marc-David Ruepp
ABSTRACT

CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing offers the possibility to knock out almost any gene of interest in an affordable and simple manner. The most common strategy is the introduction of a frameshift into the open reading frame (ORF) of the target gene which truncates the coding sequence (CDS) and targets the corresponding transcript for degradation by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). However, we show that transcripts containing premature termination codons (PTCs) are not always degraded efficiently and can generate C-terminally truncated proteins which might have residual or dominant negative functions. Therefore, we recommend an alternative approach for knocking out genes, which combines CRISPR/Cas9 with gene traps (CRISPR-Trap) and is applicable to ∼50% of all spliced human protein-coding genes and a large subset of lncRNAs. CRISPR-Trap completely prevents the expression of the ORF and avoids expression of C-terminal truncated proteins. We demonstrate the feasibility of CRISPR-Trap by utilizing it to knock out several genes in different human cell lines. Finally, we also show that this approach can be used to efficiently generate gene replacements allowing for modulation of protein levels for otherwise lethal knockouts (KOs). Thus, CRISPR-Trap offers several advantages over conventional KO approaches and allows for generation of clean CRISPR/Cas9-based KOs.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Monoclonal ANTI-FLAG® M2 antibody produced in mouse, clone M2, purified immunoglobulin (Purified IgG1 subclass), buffered aqueous solution (10 mM sodium phosphate, 150 mM NaCl, pH 7.4, containing 0.02% sodium azide)
Sigma-Aldrich
RNase A solution
Sigma-Aldrich
GenElute Mammalian Total RNA Miniprep Kit, sufficient for 350 purifications