Using CRISPR to Remove Mutated Sequences of Nuclear DNA Required by Cancerous Cells
Fusion genes feature in many cancers, a form of mutation in which two genes are joined together, such as through deletion of the DNA sequences that normally separate the two genes. The resulting mutant fusion gene sequence encodes a fusion protein that can have novel effects, or in which both portions remain functional, but are now produced in at inappropriate times and in inappropriate amounts. This change in cell biochemistry can be important in driving cancerous behavior, and this appears to be the case in a meaningful fraction of cancer types. Today's research materials discuss a clever use of CRISPR DNA editing techniques. CRISPR is used to induce targeted breaks in nuclear DNA at specific points relative to two well known fusion genes, with the result that the gene, if present, is skipped over and removed by the DNA repair mechanisms responsible for reassembling the broken chromosome. This same strategy could well be applied to a range of fusion genes in cancer. The most promising part of this approach is that it is very specific to the cells that exhibit this fusion gene mutation. Thus gene therapy vectors can be used deliver the CRISPR tools into tissues quite generally, with no detrimental effect on normal cells. Scientists succeed in reprogramming the CRISPR system in mice to eliminate tumour cells without affecting healthy cells Fusion genes are the abnormal result of an incorrect joining of DNA fragments that come from two different genes, a...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Reason Tags: Medicine, Biotech, Research Source Type: blogs
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