CRISPR-HOT, A New Genetic Tool, Can Label Specific Genes

A team of researchers from the Hubrecht Institute has made a new genetic tool to label specific genes in mini-organs or human organoids. They utilized something dubbed CRISPR-HOT to examine how hepatocytes separate and how different cells with too much DNA surface.

By deactivating the cancer gene TP53, they showcased that unstructured divisions of irregular hepatocytes were more prevalent. Such a thing might influence the cancer development. Organoids are, in fact, mini-organs that can be made in a lab. Those features develop from a little piece of tissue, and this could happen due to different organs.

The skill of genetically modifying those organoids would support the study on biological processes and modeling illnesses. Until now, the generation of genetically modified human organoids has been demonstrated challenging because the genome engineering method was missing.

CRISPR-HOT Proven Skills

Not long ago, scientists found out that CRISPR/Cas 9, which performs like a little molecular cutter, can accurately cut at a particular area in the DNA. This novel system supported and simplified genetic engineering a lot.

Delilah Hendricks from the Hubrecht Institute stated: “The little wound in the DNA can activate two different mechanisms of repair in the cells, that can both be used by researchers to coerce the cells to take up a new part of DNA, at the place of the wound.”

One of these procedures, dubbed non-homologous end joining, was believed to produce continuous errors and there until now not often utilized to add new parts of DNA. Hendricks and her team then found that adding whatever fragment of DNA into human organoids through non-homologous end joining is more helpful and steady than the other procedure that has been utilized so far.

They used now the CRISPR-HOT to add fluorescent labels into the DNA of human organoids. The insertions were attached to particular genes they chose to examine. The results were intriguing and differed a lot for each part. With the CRISPR-HOT method, researchers easily “colored” the cells that are rare and challenging to examine. The used technique helped them to perform a full analysis.