Cell research

CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing in one blastomere of two-cell embryos reveals a novel Tet3 function in regulating neocortical development.

PMID 28429771


Studying the early function of essential genes is an important and challenging problem in developmental biology. Here, we established a method for rapidly inducing CRISPR-Cas9-mediated mutations in one blastomere of two-cell stage embryos, termed 2-cell embryo-CRISPR-Cas9 injection (2CC), to study the in vivo function of essential (or unknown) genes in founder chimeric mice. By injecting both Cre mRNA and CRISPR-Cas9 targeting the gene of interest into fluorescent reporter mice, the 2CC method can trace both wild-type and mutant cells at different developmental stages, offering internal control for phenotypic analyses of mutant cells. Using this method, we identified novel functions of the essential gene Tet3 in regulating excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the developing mouse cerebral cortex. By generating chimeric mutant mice, the 2CC method allows for the rapid screening of gene function in multiple tissues and cell types in founder chimeric mice, significantly expanding the current armamentarium of genetic tools.