Unveiling a groundbreaking discovery, a team of researchers led by the Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute has discovered a eukaryotic programmable RNA-guided system.
Published in the journal Nature, their study unveils a system centered around the Fanzor protein. The team has demonstrated that Fanzor proteins utilize RNA as a precise guiding mechanism to target DNA. This breakthrough discovery suggested Fanzor bears the potential as a promising therapeutic tool for delivering effective treatments in gene therapies.
Previously, CRISPR/Cas systems were thought to only be associated with prokaryotes, such as bacteria and other single-cell organisms lacking nuclei. Zhang’s paper for the first time demonstrated similar systems existing within eukaryotes. Now, this study confirms the presence of RNA-guided DNA-cutting mechanisms throughout all kingdoms of life.
“CRISPR-based systems have gained tremendous popularity due to their versatility and adaptability in targeting diverse sites within the genome,” enthused Zhang, the corresponding author of the study and a distinguished member of the Broad Institute. He further added, “Our innovative system represents an extraordinary advancement in making precise alterations to human cells, offering an invaluable complement to our existing genome editing toolkit.”
With continuous optimization effort, one should believe that this new system will be listed as an important part of the gene editing toolbox, unlocking even brighter future for the gene-editing based therapies.
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