Kidney international

Applications of the CRISPR-Cas9 system in kidney research.

PMID 28433382


The recently discovered clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) is an RNA-guided DNA nuclease, and has been harnessed for the development of simple, efficient, and relatively inexpensive technologies to precisely manipulate the genomic information in virtually all cell types and organisms. The CRIPSR-Cas9 systems have already been effectively used to disrupt multiple genes simultaneously, create conditional alleles, and generate reporter proteins, even inxa0vivo. The ability of Cas9 to target a specific genomic region has also been exploited for various applications, such as transcriptional regulation, epigenetic control, and chromosome labeling. Here we first describe the molecular mechanism of the RNA-guided DNA targeting by the CRISPR-Cas9 system and then outline the current applications of this system as a genome-editing tool in mice and other species, to better model and study human diseases. We also discuss the practical and potential uses of the CRISPR-Cas9 system in kidney research and highlight the further applications of this technology beyond genome editing. Undoubtedly, the CRISPR-Cas9 system holds enormous potential for revolutionizing and accelerating kidney research and therapeutic applications in the future.