alexa CRISPR decoys: competitive inhibitors of CRISPR immunity.
Microbiology

Microbiology

Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology

Author(s): Maniv I, HatoumAslan A, Marraffini LA

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Abstract CRISPR loci consist of an array of short repeats separated by spacer sequences that match the genome of viruses and plasmids that infect prokaryotes. Transcription of the CRISPR array generates small antisense RNAs that mediate immunity against these invaders. In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the investigation of CRISPR immunity, but studies have been restricted to organisms in which genetic manipulations are possible. Therefore, there is a need for the development of simple genetic tools that facilitate the study of this important pathway. Here we describe the use of CRISPR decoys, plasmids containing a non-transcribed repeat-spacer unit that disrupt CRISPR immunity. We show that decoys abrogate immunity against conjugation in S. epidermidis to levels comparable to a CRISPR deletion mutant. This technique can be used to generate full or spacer-specific CRISPR knockdowns in organisms in which decoy plasmids can be introduced.
This article was published in RNA Biol and referenced in Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology

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