Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Precise gene editing in monkeys paves the way for valuable human disease models

Date:
January 30, 2014
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Monkeys are important for modeling diseases because of their close similarities to humans, but past efforts to precisely modify genes in primates have failed. Researchers have now achieved precise gene modification in monkeys for the first time using an efficient and reliable approach known as the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The study opens promising new avenues for the development of more effective treatments for a range of human diseases.

Researchers achieved precise gene modification in monkeys.
Credit: Cell, Niu et al.

Monkeys are important for modeling diseases because of their close similarities to humans, but past efforts to precisely modify genes in primates have failed. In a study published by Cell Press January 30th in the journal Cell, researchers achieved precise gene modification in monkeys for the first time using an efficient and reliable approach known as the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The study opens promising new avenues for the development of more effective treatments for a range of human diseases.

Related Articles


"Our study shows that the CRISPR/Cas9 system enables simultaneous disruption of two target genes in one step without producing off-target mutations," says study author Jiahao Sha of Nanjing Medical University. "Considering that many human diseases are caused by genetic abnormalities, targeted genetic modification in monkeys is invaluable for the generation of human disease models."

The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a gene editing tool capable of targeting specific DNA sequences in the genome. Cas9 proteins, which are directed by molecules called single-guide RNAs to specific sites in the genome, generate mutations by introducing double-stranded DNA breaks. Until now, the CRISPR/Cas9 system and other targeted gene editing techniques were successfully applied to mammals such as mice and rats, but not to primates.

Sha teamed up with Xingxu Huang of Nanjing University and Weizhi Ji of the Yunnan Key Laboratory of Primate Biomedical Research and Kunming Biomed International. The researchers injected messenger RNA molecules encoding Cas9, in addition to single-guide RNAs designed to target three specific genes, into one-cell-stage embryos of cynomolgus monkeys. After sequencing genomic DNA from 15 embryos, they found that eight of these embryos showed evidence of simultaneous mutations in two of the target genes.

The researchers then transferred genetically modified embryos into surrogate females, one of which gave birth to a set of twins. By sequencing the twins' genomic DNA, they found mutations in two of the target genes. Moreover, the CRISPR/Cas9 system did not produce mutations at genomic sites that were not targeted, suggesting that the tool will not cause undesirable effects when applied to monkeys. "With the precise genomic targeting of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we expect that many disease models will be generated in monkeys, which will significantly advance the development of therapeutic strategies in biomedical research," Ji says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuyu Niu, Bin Shen, Yiqiang Cui, Yongchang Chen, Jianying Wang, Lei Wang, Yu Kang, Xiaoyang Zhao, Wei Si, Wei Li et al. Generation of Gene-Modified Cynomolgus Monkey via Cas9/RNA-Mediated Gene Targeting in One-Cell Embryos. Cell, 30 January 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.01.027

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Precise gene editing in monkeys paves the way for valuable human disease models." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130121607.htm>.
Cell Press. (2014, January 30). Precise gene editing in monkeys paves the way for valuable human disease models. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130121607.htm
Cell Press. "Precise gene editing in monkeys paves the way for valuable human disease models." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130121607.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) — The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins