Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in a new study presented the largest and most complex CRISPR system. Scientists believe that this system can find applications in biomedicine and biotechnology. Their work is featured in the scientific journal Molecular Cell.
CRISPR technology can be used to edit genes and revolutionized the scientific world when it was first introduced. CRISPR-Cas9 is probably the best-known CRISPR system and is widely known as “gene scissors”.
This is just one of many CRISPR systems in existence.
Now researchers at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) have mapped and analyzed the atomic structure of one of the most complex CRISPR systems identified to date.
Scientists have disassembled the largest and most complex CRISPR-Cas complex seen so far. They now understand how this system works at the molecular level, said co-author Guillermo Montoya, professor at the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen (NNF CPR). Scientists have studied a complex called Cmr-β, which belongs to a subgroup of so-called type III-B CRISPR-Cas complexes. The new results have already been presented to the public.
In the new study, the researchers examined the role of Cmr in the immune system and the mechanisms underlying its immune response against various bacteriophages, as well as how it is regulated.
The Cmr system, mapped by scientists in the new study, may, among other things, remove single-stranded RNA and DNA, although this will be quite difficult. But in the future, the Cmr system may still be the key to understanding the immune response of bacteria, and it may find applications in the fight against antibiotic resistance.