Expanding the RNA-Guided Endonuclease Toolkit for Mouse Genome Editing

Louise Robertson, Daniel Pederick, Sandra Piltz, Melissa White, Alvaro Nieto, Marie Ahladas, Fatwa Adikusuma, Paul Q Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The RNA-guided endonuclease CRISPR-Cas system from Streptococcus pyogenes (SpCas9) is widely used for generating genetically modified mice via zygotic microinjection. Although SpCas9 is a potent mutagen, it requires an NGG proto-spacer adjacent motif (PAM) at the target site, restricting sequence targetability. Here, we show that RNA-guided endonucleases that utilize a range of alternative PAM sequences can edit the mouse genome at the neurog3 (Ngn3) locus: SpCas9 VQR (NGAN PAM), SpCas9 VRER (NGCG), AsCas12a (TTTN), SaCas9 (NNGRRT), and SaCas9 KKH (NNNRRT). Additional experiments targeting tyrosinase and frizzled3 with SaCas9 KKH and its parent protein demonstrated that these endonucleases generated mutations in up to 100% of embryos across three loci. Remarkably, in contrast to wild-type SpCas9, these endonucleases frequently generated mutant embryos that retain unmodified alleles in both template-free and HDR-repair experiments. Our findings broaden PAM recognition options for mouse genome editing and identify SaCas9/SaCas9 KKH as useful alternatives when targeting genes with null lethal phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalThe CRISPR journal
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

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