A novel sgRNA selection system for CRISPR-Cas9 in mammalian cells

CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing system has been developed as a powerful tool for elucidating the function of genes through genetic engineering in multiple cells and organisms. This system takes advantage of a single guide RNA (sgRNA) to direct the Cas9 endonuclease to a specific DNA site to generate mutant alleles. Since the targeting efficiency of sgRNAs to distinct DNA loci can vary widely, there remains a need for a rapid, simple and efficient sgRNA selection method to overcome this limitation of the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Here we report a novel system to select sgRNA with high efficacy for DNA sequence modification by a luciferase assay. Using this sgRNAs selection system, we further demonstrated successful examples of one sgRNA for generating one gene knockout cell lines where the targeted genes are shown to be functionally defective. This system provides a potential application to optimize the sgRNAs in different species and to generate a powerful CRISPR-Cas9 genome-wide screening system with minimum amounts of sgRNAs.

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