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CRISPR-Cas12a Editing Rates Improve with Better Directions to the Nucleus

Scientists have engineered the composition and number of the nuclear localization sequence (NLS) in an alternative CRISPR nuclease, Cas12a, to markedly increase its gene editing rate. The optimization strategy that involves including three NLSs at the carboxy terminus can be broadly applied to other Cas12a orthologs and variants to improve on-target activity without undermining the inherent specificity of these nucleases. The authors have demonstrated the improved activity of the upgraded Cas12a ex vivo and believe they are translatable to in vivo applications.