Genome Editing in Bacteria (Part 2)

CRISPR-Cas for Genome Editing - Molecular Scissors for Combating Pathogens

Author(s): Poornima Devi C. Ramdev, Divya K. Shankar and B. Renuka *

Pp: 68-105 (38)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815223798124010005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, abbreviated as CRISPR, is a genome-editing technology that permits the creation of precise knock-out mutants by aiding the modification of gene sequences devoid of the steps involving the insertion of foreign DNA into pathogenic microorganisms. The microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature and harbor in the complex ecosystem of the human being. Cas (acronym for CRISPR-associated) genes are present in many microbial genomes. The variable nature of the microbial genome has been utilized as an integral typing tool in epidemiologic, diagnostic, and evolutionary analyses of the prokaryotic species. The past decade has seen an accumulating growth in the development of gene-editing tools utilizing the CRISPR-Cas system, which essentially is a part of the prokaryotic immune system. The development of these unique gene-editing techniques has empowered researchers to alter and investigate organisms with ease and efficiency as never before. This editing tool can efficiently be programmed and delivered into the bacterial populations to explicitly eliminate members of a targeted micro biome. Manipulation of the gene expression and regulation of the synthesis of metabolites and proteins can be achieved by utilizing an engineered CRISPR-Cas system. Put together, these tools present with the exhilarating opportunity to explore the complex interaction between the individual species of the microbiome and the host organism and thereby reveal novel avenues for the generation of drugs to selectively target the microbiome. CRISPR-Cas technology has been employed to cope with antibiotic resistance in intracellular and extracellular pathogens. The widespread use of antibiotics and the escalation of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria boost the prospect of a post-antibiotic era, which emphasizes the need for novel strategies to target MDR pathogens. The development of permissive synthetic biology techniques offers favorable solutions to carry through safe and efficient antibacterial therapies.

Keywords: CRISPR-Cas, Epigenetic regulation, Genome engineering, Knock-out and -in genes, Synthetic biology.

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