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Cas9 degradation in human cells using phage anti-CRISPR proteins.

PLoS biology (2023-12-08)
Zuriah Meacham, Luisa Arake de Tacca, Joseph Bondy-Denomy, David Rabuka, Michael Schelle
ABSTRACT

Bacteriophages encode anti-CRISPR (Acr) proteins that inactivate CRISPR-Cas bacterial immune systems, allowing successful invasion, replication, and prophage integration. Acr proteins inhibit CRISPR-Cas systems using a wide variety of mechanisms. AcrIIA1 is encoded by numerous phages and plasmids, binds specifically to the Cas9 HNH domain, and was the first Acr discovered to inhibit SpyCas9. Here, we report the observation of AcrIIA1-induced degradation of SpyCas9 and SauCas9 in human cell culture, the first example of Acr-induced degradation of CRISPR-Cas nucleases in human cells. AcrIIA1-induced degradation of SpyCas9 is abolished by mutations in AcrIIA1 that break a direct physical interaction between the 2 proteins. Targeted Cas9 protein degradation by AcrIIA1 could modulate Cas9 nuclease activity in human therapies. The small size and specificity of AcrIIA1 could be used in a CRISPR-Cas proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC), providing a tool for developing safe and precise gene editing applications.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Anti-Cas9 (Rabbit Polyclonal), serum, from rabbit
Millipore
ANTI-FLAG® M2 Affinity Gel, purified immunoglobulin, buffered aqueous glycerol solution