Managing the SOS Response for Enhanced CRISPR-Cas-Based Recombineering in E. coli through Transient Inhibition of Host RecA Activity.
Phage-derived "recombineering" methods are utilized for bacterial genome editing. Recombineering results in a heterogeneous population of modified and unmodified chromosomes, and therefore selection methods, such as CRISPR-Cas9, are required to select for edited clones. Cells can evade CRISPR-Cas-induced cell death through recA-mediated induction of the SOS response. The SOS response increases RecA dependent repair as well as mutation rates through induction of the umuDC error prone polymerase. As a result, CRISPR-Cas selection is more efficient in recA mutants. We report an approach to inhibiting the SOS response and RecA activity through the expression of a mutant dominant negative form of RecA, which incorporates into wild type RecA filaments and inhibits activity. Using a plasmid-based system in which Cas9 and recA mutants are coexpressed, we can achieve increased efficiency and consistency of CRISPR-Cas9-mediated selection and recombineering in E. coli, while reducing the induction of the SOS response. To date, this approach has been shown to be independent of recA genotype and host strain lineage. Using this system, we demonstrate increased CRISPR-Cas selection efficacy with over 10 000 guides covering the E. coli chromosome. The use of dominant negative RecA or homologues may be of broad use in bacterial CRISPR-Cas-based genome editing where the SOS pathways are present.
Moreb, EA; Hoover, B; Yaseen, A; Valyasevi, N; Roecker, Z; Menacho-Melgar, R; Lynch, MD
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