Development of CRISPR as an Antiviral Strategy to Combat SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has highlighted the need for antiviral approaches that can target emerging viruses with no effective vaccines or pharmaceuticals. Here, we demonstrate a CRISPR-Cas13-based strategy, PAC-MAN (prophylactic antiviral CRISPR in human cells), for viral inhibition that can effectively degrade RNA from SARS-CoV-2 sequences and live influenza A virus (IAV) in human lung epithelial cells. We designed and screened CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) targeting conserved viral regions and identified functional crRNAs targeting SARS-CoV-2. This approach effectively reduced H1N1 IAV load in respiratory epithelial cells. Our bioinformatic analysis showed that a group of only six crRNAs can target more than 90% of all coronaviruses. With the development of a safe and effective system for respiratory tract delivery, PAC-MAN has the potential to become an important pan-coronavirus inhibition strategy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abbott, TR; Dhamdhere, G; Liu, Y; Lin, X; Goudy, L; Zeng, L; Chemparathy, A; Chmura, S; Heaton, NS; Debs, R; Pande, T; Endy, D; La Russa, MF; Lewis, DB; Qi, LS

Published Date

  • May 14, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 181 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 865 - 876.e12

PubMed ID

  • 32353252

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7189862

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-4172

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.020


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States