Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The structural biology of CRISPR-Cas systems.
- Author(s): Jiang, Fuguo
- Doudna, Jennifer A
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4417044/
Prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas genomic loci encode RNA-mediated adaptive immune systems that bear some functional similarities with eukaryotic RNA interference. Acquired and heritable immunity against bacteriophage and plasmids begins with integration of ∼30 base pair foreign DNA sequences into the host genome. CRISPR-derived transcripts assemble with CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins to target complementary nucleic acids for degradation. Here we review recent advances in the structural biology of these targeting complexes, with a focus on structural studies of the multisubunit Type I CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance and the Cas9 DNA endonuclease found in Type II CRISPR-Cas systems. These complexes have distinct structures that are each capable of site-specific double-stranded DNA binding and local helix unwinding.