First efficient CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing in Leishmania parasites

Sollelis, L., Ghorbal, M., MacPherson, C. R., Martins, R. M., Kuk, N., Crobu, L., Bastien, P., Scherf, A., Lopez-Rubio, J.-J. and Sterkers, Y. (2015) First efficient CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing in Leishmania parasites. Cellular Microbiology, 17(10), pp. 1405-1412. (doi: 10.1111/cmi.12456) (PMID:25939677)

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Abstract

Protozoan pathogens that cause leishmaniasis in humans are relatively refractory to genetic manipulation. In this work, we implemented the CRISPR‐Cas9 system in Leishmania parasites and demonstrated its efficient use for genome editing. The Cas9 endonuclease was expressed under the control of the Dihydrofolate Reductase‐Thymidylate Synthase (DHFR‐TS) promoter and the single guide RNA was produced under the control of the U6snRNA promoter and terminator. As a proof of concept, we chose to knockout a tandemly repeated gene family, the paraflagellar rod‐2 locus. We were able to obtain null mutants in a single round of transfection. In addition, we confirmed the absence of off‐target editions by whole genome sequencing of two independent clones. Our work demonstrates that CRISPR‐Cas9‐mediated gene knockout represents a major improvement in comparison with existing methods. Beyond gene knockout, this genome editing tool opens avenues for a multitude of functional studies to speed up research on leishmaniasis.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sollelis, Miss Lauriane
Authors: Sollelis, L., Ghorbal, M., MacPherson, C. R., Martins, R. M., Kuk, N., Crobu, L., Bastien, P., Scherf, A., Lopez-Rubio, J.-J., and Sterkers, Y.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Cellular Microbiology
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1462-5814
ISSN (Online):1462-5822
Published Online:04 May 2015

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