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Computational models

Computational prediction of clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated protein 9
(Cas9) target sites

A computational method to predict CRISPR-Cas9 target cleavage could help guide the design of new disease models. CRISPR systems use a small guide RNA (sgRNA), which pairs with a target DNA sequence and Cas9 to excise the target DNA. An analysis of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 cleavage using mismatched sgRNA-DNA pairs identified determinants that affect the specificity of the cleavage process. A scoring algorithm was developed based on this information to help guide the selection of target sites for sgRNA design. Next steps could include additional characterization of Cas9 off-target activity.

SciBX 6(32); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.872
Published online Aug. 22, 2013

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Hsu, P.D. et al. Nat. Biotechnol.; published online July 21, 2013;
Contact: Feng Zhang, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Mass.