Gene Regulation – Multiple Targets – Activation – Optogenetics – Repression – Inducibility – Epigenetics

Just imagine there was a tool that combined all these aspects of lab work. A tool, that was able to rule several genes at once; a tool that allowed highly specific gene modulation via stimulus induction; a tool that would be a new approach to gene regulation.

This year’s Freiburg iGEM Team uses the prokaryotic CRISPR/Cas system to enable multiple endogenous gene regulation with minimal effort. The regulation is based on a protein-RNA-DNA interaction. Customizable RNAs function as a guide for our protein in order to target specific DNA sequences. By fusing effector domains to this protein, we aim at developing a tool for multiple and inducible gene activation and repression. Despite the system's prokaryotic origin, gene target sequences are adjustable for various organisms, offering a broad application variety of our tool. Due to its great potential, the CRISPR/Cas system has become of increasing importance in current research and can be implemented in a number of novel and interesting applications, such as gene therapy or tissue engineering.