Sat Feb 27, 2021
CRISPR technology is a powerful tool to edit genomes. It permits researchers for altering DNA sequence very easily and modify the gene functions. When the components of CRISPR are transferred into more complex organisms, it manipulates the structure of genes. Genetic engineering using CRISPER technology has brought a revolutionary change in the medical field.
CRISPR-Cas9 was adopted from a genome editing system, which is occurring naturally in bacteria. These bacteria capture snippets of DNA. On the other hand, the DNA originates from invading viruses and uses it for creating DNA segments, which is known as CRISPR arrays. Genetic engineering using CRISPER technology has been used to mass-produce insulin, for treating infertility, monoclonal antibodies, human growth hormones, human albumin, vaccines, antihemophilic factors and many other drugs. In medical research, genetic engineering using CRISPER technology facilitates to discover the function of certain genes.
CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat) refers to the exceptional organization of short, palindromic (partially) repeated DNA sequence, especially found in the genomes of bacteria and microorganisms. It is a crucial component of the immune system. This immune system protects an organism’s health and well-being. Like human cells, the virus can invade in bacterial cells too, which is small and infectious. In the case of viral infection, the CRISPR immune system can thwart the attack. It destroys the genome invaded by a virus. The genome of the virus continues to replicate the genetic material, which in turn protects the bacteria from ongoing viral infections.
Since its discovery almost a decade ago, the class of prokaryotic immune system (CRISPER-Cas) has afforded a suite of genetic tools. This system has revolutionized medical research in a model organism, which covers all domain of life. According to recent reports, CRISPER-Cas systems can harness to engineer phages genetically, that can infect diverse hosts. It involves three major types.
Type I, II and III can be used as a rigorous tool to facilitate phage genome engineering. This study demonstrates that all members of three families of tailed phages were successfully replaced by applying a variation of the equal basic approach. In the process, CRISPR-Cas is used as a defense-mechanism to counter select phages, which have combined with a ‘donor DNA’. The donor DNA comprises a segment of the phage genome, bearing the desired mutation.
With a treasure of phage genetic diversity, engineers can unlock the secret of phage genes of undiscovered functions. CRISPER-Cas system with diverse organisms can harness to gear up phage evolution. The best part is the entire process can be performed in a controlled environment to introduce precise and desired mutations.
Another potential setback encoded CRISPR-Cas inhibitors might undermine the effort. After encountering one such phase, it is quite a challenging job to find the right CRISPR type. As the system contains a diverse, functional, and (restively) widespread heterologous hosts; it not impossible to get the desired mutation. Moreover, RNA genomes phages can feasibly access and engineer the targeted RNA and phages (that infect archaea) with genetic engineering using CRISPR technology.
Therefore it is plausible to envision the nature’s suite of the CRISPR system. Eventually, it will become an indispensable tool for bacteriophage research. In addition, it will significantly advance the basic understanding of phage biology and gear up the acceleration of the novel technology, depends on the pervasive organisms.