Modularized CRISPR/dCas9 effector toolkit for target-specific gene regulation

The ability to control mammalian genes in a synergistic mode using synthetic transcription factors is highly desirable in fields of tissue engineering, stem cell reprogramming and fundamental research. In this study, we developed a standardized toolkit utilizing an engineered CRISPR/Cas9 system that enables customizable gene regulation in mammalian cells. The RNA-guided dCas9 protein was implemented as a programmable transcriptional activator or repressor device, including targeting of endogenous loci. For facile assembly of single or multiple CRISPR RNAs, our toolkit comprises a modular RNAimer plasmid, which encodes the required noncoding RNA components. © 2014 American Chemical Society.