Advances in CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering: Lessons learned from RNA interference

Rodolphe Barrangou, Amanda Birmingham, Stefan Wiemann, Roderick L. Beijersbergen, Veit Hornung, Anja Van Brabant Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


The discovery that the machinery of the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 bacterial immune system can be re-purposed to easily create deletions, insertions and replacements in the mammalian genome has revolutionized the field of genome engineering and re-invigorated the field of gene therapy. Many parallels have been drawn between the newly discovered CRISPR-Cas9 system and the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway in terms of their utility for understanding and interrogating gene function in mammalian cells. Given this similarity, the CRISPR-Cas9 field stands to benefit immensely from lessons learned during the development of RNAi technology. We examine how the history of RNAi can inform today's challenges in CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering such as efficiency, specificity, high-throughput screening and delivery for in vivo and therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3407-3419
Number of pages13
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 5 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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