Digital PCR to assess gene-editing frequencies (GEF-dPCR) mediated by designer nucleases


Genome editing using designer nucleases such as transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) or clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 nucleases is an emerging technology in basic and applied research. Whereas the application of editing tools, namely CRISPR-Cas9, has recently become very straightforward, quantification of resulting gene knockout rates still remains a bottleneck. This is particularly true if the product of a targeted gene is not easily detectable. To address this problem, we devised a novel gene-editing frequency digital PCR (GEF-dPCR) technique. GEF-dPCR exploits two differently labeled probes that are placed within one amplicon at the gene-editing target site to simultaneously detect wild-type and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ)-affected alleles. Taking advantage of the principle of dPCR, this enables concurrent quantification of edited and wild-type alleles in a given sample. We propose that our method is optimal for the monitoring of gene-edited cells in vivo, e.g., in clinical settings. Here we describe preparation, design of primers and probes, and setup and analysis of GEF-dPCR. The setup of GEF-dPCR requires up to 2 weeks (depending on the starting point); once the dPCR has been established, the protocol for sample analysis takes <1 d.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 03.2016
PubMed 26914317