Genome editing used to bias genetic inheritance in mice

Genomics researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to bias genetic inheritance in mice used for laboratory studies. Investigators at the University of California, San Diego (USA) based their work in mice on the highly efficient gene drive systems that have recently been developed in insects. These systems leveraged the sequence-targeted DNA cleavage activity of CRISPR/Cas9 and endogenous homology-directed DNA reconditions mechanisms to convert heterozygous genotypes to homozygosity. The investigators postulated that if implemented in laboratory rodents, similar systems would enable the rapid assembly of currently impractical genotypes that involve multiple homozygous genes (for example, to model multigenic human diseases). Towards this end, the investigators used an active genetic element that encoded a guide RNA, which was embedded in the mouse tyrosinase (Tyr) gene, to evaluate whether targeted gene conversion could occur when CRISPR/Cas9 was active in the early embryo or in the developing germline. Original Link