Molecular Biology : Programmable RNA Tracking in Live Cells with CRISPR/Cas9

David  Nelles, Mark  Fang, Mitchell   O’Connell, Jia  Xu, Sebastian J Markmiller, Jennifer  Doudna, Gene Yeo  in the research named Programmable RNA Tracking in Live Cells with CRISPR/Cas9. Cell describe the use of CRISPR -Cas9 in order to reach RNA of the live cells.

Tracking live cells with the help of CRISPR-Cas9  is  innovative technique, since it has no analogies. It is the first attempt to target RNA of the live cells. In general, RNA is a genetic material, which delivers genetic material from the nuclear to protein-making machinery. David Nelles et al. used a popular DNA-editing technique, called CRISPR-Cas9.  Investigation in this field can have important consequences for different spheres of human life. They can bring positive results in treatment of different diseases, including cancer and autism.  Scientists put much effort looking for the way to access RNA and finally they approached the solution of this problem.

Genetic code from DNA  saves all basic information about an individual. It contains information about physical characteristics, appearance and susceptibility to different diseases.  At this point altering genetic code can be a way to change these characteristics.  At the same time, a lot of important information, including information about diseases,  is also stored in RNA molecule. That is the reason accessing only DNA molecules did not bring desired results. Scientist meet the necessity to find effective mean to influence RNA code. As Gene Yeo describes “Our current work focuses on tracking the movement of RNA inside the cell, but future developments could enable researchers to measure other RNA features or advance therapeutic approaches to correct disease-causing RNA behaviors.” (Nelles et al. 2016). RNA can influence the production of proteins and ensures they are produced in the right location.  The CRISPR-Cas9, a defense mechanism bacteria was applied to edit DNA.  The authors of the research used same method to target RNA and they succeeded in their effort.  They designed a guide RNA, matching a target gene. This RNA delivers the Cas9 enzyme to desired part of the genome and it cuts the DNA. After desired genome is cut, the cell repairs the break or researches replaced it with the right gene.  

As state the authors, “CRISPR-Cas9 is supporting a revolution in genomics and medicine based on its ability to target and modify human DNA. DNA is the fundamental building block of life and we are just beginning to see the implications of genome engineering with CRISPR-Cas9, but many diseases including cancer and autism are linked to problems with another fundamental biological molecule — RNA” (Nelles et al. 2016).  CRISPR-Cas9 was previously  used to alter DNA, but the researchers decided to use this technique in order to reach RNA live cells. So, the basic idea was to target RNA instead of DNA. For this purpose some features of the CRISPR-Cas9 system were changed. Finally, researches designed a short nucleic acid  PAMer. This acid directs Cas9 to the RNA molecule.  In the first experiments researchers decided to work with RNA which encoded ACTB, TFRC and CCNA2 proteins. After the series of successful experiments researchers used Cas9 to impact the movement of RNA into stress granules. Stress granules are connected with neurodegenerative disorders, and study in this field give hope to find effective mechanism to deal with them. 

The use of Cas9 is a revolutionary approach, since it enables to target RNA in live cells without the use of artificial RNA-tracking techniques, which can bring serious damage to cellular processes. New technique creates a vaste field for further research and application. Targeting RNA in the live cells can be applied in medicine in treatment of different genetic diseases linked to RNA. Innovative methods can be used to target RNA without bringing damage to cellular processes.

Works Cited

David A. Nelles, Mark Y. Fang, Mitchell R. O’Connell, Jia L. Xu, Sebastian J. Markmiller, Jennifer A. Doudna, Gene W. Yeo. Programmable RNA Tracking in Live Cells with CRISPR/Cas9. Cell, 2016. Print.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

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freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]
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