Scientific reports

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutation of tyrosinase (Tyr) 3' UTR induce graying in rabbit.

PMID 28484254


The 3' untranslated regions (UTRs), located at the end of mRNA molecules, are believed to play a role in RNA replication and/or protein translation. Mutations in the tyrosinase (Tyr) gene are known to cause recessive albinism in humans and other species. In this study, to test whether the CRISPR/Cas9 system works on the mutation of the UTRs regulatory region in rabbit, the 3' UTR of the rabbit Tyr gene was deleted by a dual sgRNA directed CRISPR/Cas9 system. As expected, gray coat color and reduced melanin in hair follicles and irises was found in the mutated rabbit, thus increasing confidence in the association of the mutation of the Tyr 3' UTR with graying in rabbit. The graying phenotype was also found in the F1 generation, suggesting that the mutated allele can be stably inherited by the offspring. Thus, we provide the first evidence that reduced melanin and graying can be caused by deletion of the Tyr 3' UTR in rabbits. Additionally, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated large fragment deletions can facilitate genotype to phenotype studies of UTRs or non-coding RNAs in future.