Recombinant, high-purity endonucleases for genome editing experiments
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Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease V3 is the standard Cas9 used for general genome editing. It is a high purity, recombinant S. pyogenes Cas9. The enzymes include nuclear localization sequences (NLSs) and C-terminal 6-His tags. The S. pyogenes Cas9 enzyme must be combined with a gRNA to produce a functional, target-specific editing complex. For the best editing, combine the Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease V3 enzyme with optimized Alt-R CRISPR gRNA in equimolar amounts.
Alt-R S.p. HiFi Cas9 Nuclease V3 is also used for general genome editing, but it offers improved specificity over wild-type Cas9, greatly reducing the risk of off-target cutting events. This Cas9 variant also preserves the high level of editing efficiency expected from a Cas9 nuclease, maintaining 90–100% on-target editing activity at most sites. For applications that are sensitive to off-target events, combining the Alt-R S.p. HiFi Cas9 Nuclease V3 with the optimized Alt-R CRISPR-Cas9 gRNA (crRNA:tracrRNA) is highly recommended.
Cas9 nickases allow specific cutting of only one strand at the DNA target site. Cuts to both strands of DNA are accomplished by using either Alt-R S.p. Cas9 D10A Nickase V3 or Alt-R S.p. Cas9 H840A Nickase V3, with 2 gRNAs that target two neighboring Cas9 sites, one on either strand of the target region. There are two main reasons to consider using nickases. First, the use of two neighboring gRNAs instead of one gRNA (as used with Alt-R S.p. Cas9) can decrease off-target effects. Second, the rate of HDR is increased. For more information about using Cas9 nickases, see the application note.
Alt-R S.p. dCas9 Protein V3 has mutations that result in the loss of nuclease activity. This protein can form RNP complexes with Alt-R gRNAs and bind to the target region specified by the gRNA without cutting the DNA. The primary use of dCas9 protein is to block transcription at a specific site on the genome. This is known as CRISPRi, and is an alternative to RNAi for knockdown instead of knockout of genes.
Like the other Alt-R enzymes, Alt-R S.p. dCas9 Protein V3 is provided as 10 mg/mL in 50% glycerol, and it can be diluted in PBS or Opti-MEM media before use.
Alt-R A.s. Cas12a (Cpf1) Nuclease V3 enzyme is a high purity, recombinant Acidaminococcus sp. BV3L6 Cas12a. It is useful for targeting AT-rich regions when the Cas9-specific PAM sequence (NGG) is not available. The enzymes include nuclear localization sequences (NLSs) and C-terminal 6-His tags. The Cas12a enzyme must be combined with a gRNA to produce a functional, target-specific editing complex. For the best editing, combine Alt-R A.s. Cas12a (Cpf1) Nuclease V3 enzyme with optimized Alt-R CRISPR-Cas12a (Cpf1) crRNA in equimolar amounts.
Attention: Unlike S. pyogenes Cas9, which cleaves most NGG PAM sites to some degree, some of the tested TTTV sites show no cleavage by A.s. Cas12a nuclease. We recommend using positive control crRNAs to establish that your cells can be edited by Cas12a. In addition, we suggest testing 3 or more crRNAs per target gene.
The new Alt-R Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra Nucleases are also useful for targeting AT-rich regions without available Cas9-specific PAM sequences. However, they have much higher on-target potency than wild-type A.s. Cas12a (Cpf1). The new Alt-R Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra also can recognize many TTTT PAM sites in addition to TTTV motifs, increasing target range for genome editing studies. Furthermore, the new Alt-R Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra nucleases are active at room temperature, making them flexible tools for applications requiring delivery at lower temperatures.
|Cas9 system||Cas12a system|
|Applications||General genome editing|
|Cas9 crRNA:tracrRNA (option 1)|
|Cas9 sgRNA (option 2)||—|
|Current recommendations for Alt-R RNP delivery|
* Molecular weight of Alt-R nuclease
† N = any base; V = A, C, or G
This comparison table is available for download (see page 2).
Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease V3 is designed to maximize the efficiency of genome editing across a broad number of sites. Modification of the expression construct facilitates nucleus-targeted delivery, resulting in enhanced cleavage, particularly at difficult targets (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease V3 maximizes genome editing efficiency even at challenging target sites. Ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes were formed with 1 of the 2 wild-type Cas9 proteins—Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease 3NLS (light blue) or Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease V3 (dark blue), combined with an Alt-R crRNA:tracrRNA complex targeting one of 11 loci on the human HPRT gene. RNP complexes (4 µM) were delivered into HEK-293 cells by nucleofection. Total editing at the on-target loci was calculated by NGS.
As with the wild-type Alt-R Cas9 Nuclease V3, modification of the expression construct facilitates nucleus-targeted delivery, resulting in enhanced on-target cleavage by Alt-R S.p. HiFi Cas9 Nuclease V3. However, Alt-R HiFi Cas9 Nuclease V3 also provides superior cutting specificity (minimized off-target editing; Figure 2).
Figure 2. Alt-R S.p. HiFi Cas9 Nuclease V3 facilitates near-WT on-target editing potency and significantly reduces off-target site editing. RNP complexes were formed with either Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease V3 or Alt-R S.p. HiFi Cas9 Nuclease V3, combined with an Alt-R crRNA:tracrRNA complex targeting the EMX1 gene. RNP complexes (4 µM) were delivered into HEK-293 cells via nucleofection. INDEL formation at the on-target locus as well as 9 known off-target sites were measured by NGS (indicated on the y axis in log scale).
The Alt-R CRISPR-Cas9 System includes potent Alt-R S.p. Cas9 nucleases. When Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease 3NLS was combined with the Alt-R CRISPR crRNA and tracrRNA into a ribonucleoprotein (RNP), the system outperformed other editing approaches (Figure 3). You can expect even better editing efficiency with Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease V3 (see Figure 2). RNP transfections also provide optimal control of dose of editing complexes, and the non-renewable Cas9 RNP is cleared after a short duration by endogenous mechanisms, limiting off-target editing.
Figure 3. Lipofection of Alt-R CRISPR-Cas9 System components as a ribonucleoprotein outperforms other transient CRISPR-Cas9 approaches. Alt-R CRISPR HPRT Control crRNA complexes for human, mouse, or rat were complexed with Alt-R CRISPR tracrRNA. Resulting complexes were transfected with Cas9 expression plasmid, Cas9 mRNA, or as part of a Cas9 RNP (containing Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease 3NLS, pre-complexed with the crRNA and tracrRNA) into human (HEK-293), mouse (Hepa1-6), or rat (RG2) cell lines. The Cas9 RNP outperformed the other transient Cas9 expression approaches, and performed similar to reference HEK293-Cas9 cells that stably express S. pyogenes Cas9.
To enhance activity, we introduced multiple modifications to the Cas12a protein that resulted in remarkable improvement in overall editing efficiency. The new Alt-R Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra nuclease has higher on-target potency than the wild-type A.s. Cas12a (Cpf1). The new Alt-R Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra also can recognize many TTTT PAM sites in addition to TTTV motifs, increasing target range for genome editing studies (Figure 4). Furthermore, the new Alt-R Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra nuclease is active at room temperature, making it a flexible tool for applications requiring delivery at lower temperatures.
The Alt-R Cas12a (Cpf1) Electroporation Enhancer is a Cas12a-specific carrier DNA that is optimized to work with the Amaxa®Nucleofector® device (Lonza) and the Neon® Transfection System (Thermo Fisher) for increased transfection efficiency and therefore, increased genome editing efficiency (Figure 5). The electroporation enhancer is non-targeting and shows no integration into the target site based on next-generation sequencing experiments.
Improved enzymes: All Alt-R enzymes [Cas9 nuclease, HiFi Cas9 nuclease, Cas9 nickases, and Cas12a (Cpf1) nuclease] have recently been further optimized to deliver even higher performance. The latest versions (Alt-R S.p. Cas9 Nuclease V3 and A.s. Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra) can be directly substituted into the protocols in place of the prior Alt-R enzymes.