Research ArticleBIOPHYSICS

Programming PAM antennae for efficient CRISPR-Cas9 DNA editing

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Science Advances  08 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 19, eaay9948
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay9948


Bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases have been repurposed as powerful genome editing tools. Whereas engineering guide RNAs or Cas nucleases have proven to improve the efficiency of CRISPR editing, modulation of protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM), indispensable for CRISPR, has been less explored. Here, we develop a DNA origami–based platform to program a PAM antenna microenvironment and address its performance at the single-molecule level with submolecular resolution. To mimic spatially controlled in vivo PAM distribution as may occur in chromatin, we investigate the effect of PAM antennae surrounding target DNA. We find that PAM antennae effectively sensitize the DNA cleavage by recruiting Cas9 molecules. Super-resolution tracking of single single-guide RNA/Cas9s reveals localized translocation of Cas9 among spatially proximal PAMs. We find that the introduction of the PAM antennae effectively modulates the microenvironment for enhanced target cleavage (up to ~50%). These results provide insight into factors that promote more efficient genome editing.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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