CRISPR gene cuts may offer new way to chart human genome

CRISPR gene cuts may offer new way to chart human genome

Date: February 24, 2020

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Summary: In search of new ways to sequence human genomes and read critical alterations in DNA, researchers say they have successfully used the gene cutting tool CRISPR to make cuts in DNA around lengthy tumor genes, which can be used to collect sequence information.

Gene manipulation concept photo illustration (stock image).
Credit: © vchalup / Adobe Stock

In search of new ways to sequence human genomes and read critical alterations in DNA, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have successfully used the gene cutting tool CRISPR to make cuts in DNA around lengthy tumor genes, which can be used to collect sequence information.

A report on the proof-of-principle experiments using genomes from human breast cancer cells and tissue appears in the Feb. 10 issue of Nature Biotechnology.

The researchers say that pairing CRISPR with tools that sequence the DNA components of human cancer tissue is a technique that could, one day, enable fast, relatively cheap sequencing of patients’ tumors, streamlining the selection and use of treatments that target highly specific and personal genetic alterations.

“For tumor sequencing in cancer patients, you don’t necessarily need to sequence the whole cancer genome,” says Winston Timp, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering and molecular biology and genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Deep sequencing of particular areas of genetic interest can be very informative.”

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