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A CRISPR View of Biological Mechanisms

DISCOVERIES (ISSN 2359-7232), 2016, October-December issue


Martinez E, Sanchez L, Vazquez N, Marks R, Cedillo R, Respondek C, Holguin M, Persans M, Keniry M. A CRISPR View of Biological Mechanisms. Discoveries 2016, Oct-Dec; 4(4): e69. DOI: 10.15190/d.2016.16

Submitted: November 30th, 2016; Revised: December 29th, 2016; Accepted: December 29th, 2016; Published: December 31st, 2016;

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A CRISPR View of Biological Mechanisms

Eduardo Martinez, Lilia Sanchez, Neftali Vazquez, Rebecca Marks, Raechel Cedillo, Christa Respondek, Martin Holguin, Michael W. Persans, and Megan Keniry*

Department of Biology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 1201 W. University Dr., Edinburg, TX 78539, USA

*Correspondence to: Megan Keniry, PhD, Department of Biology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 1201 W. University Dr., Edinburg, TX 78539; Phone: 965-665-7463; Fax: 956-665-3657; Email:  megan.keniry@utrgv.edu


A decade ago, only six manuscripts would be found on a Pubmed search for “CRISPR,” compared to over 2,011 manuscripts in 2016.  The purpose of this review is to discuss this emergent technology that has revolutionized molecular biological research in just a few years.  Endogenous CRISPR mechanisms are harbored by bacteria and archaea as an adaptive defense system that targets foreign DNA from viruses and plasmids.  CRISPR has been adapted as a genome editing tool in a plethora of organisms ranging from yeast to humans.  This tool has been employed to create loss of function mutations, gain of function mutations, and tagged alleles in a wide range of settings.  CRISPR is now extensively employed for genetic screens.  CRISPR has also been adapted to study transcriptional regulation.  This versatile and relatively facile technique has, and will be, tremendously impactful in research areas such as biomedical sciences, agriculture, and the basic sciences.

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