SALK Institute for biological study, scientists (USA) has created a new tool that targets not DNA, but RNA. They used it to correct a protein imbalance in cells from a dementia patient and reinstate them to healthy levels. The new Salk tool, called CasRx, opens up and the huge potential of RNA and proteins towards genetic engineering and giving and researchers a formidable way to develop new gene therapies as well as scrutinize foundational biological functions. The work appeared in Cell. “The Salk team decided to search bacterial genomes for new CRISPR enzymes that could target RNA” and new vistas towards.
The team realized that, just like the Cas9 family, Cas13d enzymes originating from different bacterial species would differ in their activity, so they ran a screen to recognize the best variant for use in human cells. That version turned out to be from the gut bacterium Ruminococcus flavefaciens XPD3002, which led them to name their tool CasRx. The discovery will be helpful to tackle with neurodegenerative disorder frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
Original links: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180315122940.htm