CRISPR-Cas9 Can Target RNA To Treat Cancer, Autism

Posted: Mar 18 2016, 8:32am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

CRISPR-Cas9 can Target RNA to Treat Cancer, Autism
This image shows a cell carrying an RNA-targeted Cas9 system that reveals the distribution of beta actin mRNA in the cytoplasm. Courtesy of David Nelles of the University of California, San Diego.
  • CRISPR-Based Gene-Clipping Technique could Eradicate Many Diseases

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A CRISPR-based gene-clipping technique could eradicate many diseases in the future.

CRISPR-Cas 9 is the most advanced gene-editing method that is available to geneticists today. It can be used to follow the machinations of RNA in living cells. This novel tool was introduced to the world in the form of an article published in the journal Cell.

A vast array of diseases could be cured after they have been modeled via this methodology. The use of CRISPR technology to eradicate diseases is a relatively new kid on the block.

However, in order to put an end to such diseases as cancer and autism, the RNA in human cells must be tracked and sorted out.

In the near future, RNA-related issues and problems in its makeup could be corrected via novel methods. Several times scientists have tried to manipulate proteins to recognize RNA sequences.

The only catch is that such procedures lack specificity and need hard work to reach accomplishment. On the other hand, short nucleic acids which are termed molecular beacons are limited and it is a task to deliver them into the cellular environment.

Protein-binding molecules called aptamers work temporarily and are limited in the quantity of RNA sequences they enable.

Such schemes have their limits. In order to overcome the hindrances, CRISPR-Cas9 was employed by genetic engineers. This tool could edit genomes in many organisms.

A single-guide RNA could mix with the Cas9 enzyme to generate the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Mutations would be generated at the level of the DNA.

The CRISPR-Cas9 system was transformed to make it ready for RNA tracking. An isolated short nucleic acid termed a PAMmer could allow Cas9 to recognize RNA in place of DNA. Several other complex procedures were followed which almost made miracles happen on a genetic level.

RNA could be tracked with ease using this method. This was a side effect of cellular stress. The role of RNA in many degenerative diseases was recognized through this scheme.

Whatever the future ramifications that arise from these experiments, some diseases such as cancer and autism may also be among the maladies that get eradicated from the long list of human ailments.

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