In a recent paper published in the journal Molecular Cell, researchers at Stanford University in the United States say they have designed a new CRISPR-Cas gene-editing tool that can detect and control multiple genetic circuits at once. The new technology could help detect cancer more accurately and help eliminate cancer cells, researchers say.
Each cell in the human body has a computer-like control system that sends biological signals through thousands of circuits to monitor the needs of cells and regulate their response. These circuits often go wrong when diseases such as cancer occur, resulting in abnormal signals and reactions. How to accurately detect these abnormal signals is essential for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
In the new study, Stanford University researchers expanded and upgraded their previousLY developed CRISPR-Cas gene editing tool to build on a new perception-response system. The system, known as the split dCas12a platform, can build multi-input, multi-output logic circuits in mammalian cells. The system is highly programmable and produces extensible and door-to-door doors with 2, 3 and 4 inputs. And by using the anti-CRISPR protein as an OFF switch, it can also integrate non-logical. By coupling the isolated dCas12a platform with multiple tumor-related promoters, the researchers demonstrated that the system can achieve logical gating, perform specific tests on breast cancer cells, and perform therapeutic immunomodulation responses.
The researchers note that the ability to integrate biological signals and perform functional responses at the right time is critical to complex cell engineering using synthetic biology. Although CRISPR-Cas systems have been used for genome synthesis operations, they have not been used entirely for complex environmental signal perception, integration, and drive. It is important that they create new tools that can detect and control multiple genetic circuits simultaneously, because complex diseases such as cancer are often caused by a series of failures involving multiple genes, which are difficult to identify through a single gene analysis. New technologies can help doctors more accurately identify disease status esclosely and treat it more safely.
The researchers believe the technology is not limited to treating diseases such as cancer, but also has other uses, such as promoting rapid conversion of stem cells to repair damaged organs.