California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research

San Francisco, CA, United States

California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research

San Francisco, CA, United States
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Larson M.H.,University of California at San Francisco | Larson M.H.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Larson M.H.,California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research | Gilbert L.A.,University of California at San Francisco | And 11 more authors.
Nature Protocols | Year: 2013

Sequence-specific control of gene expression on a genome-wide scale is an important approach for understanding gene functions and for engineering genetic regulatory systems. We have recently described an RNA-based method, CRISPR interference (CRISPRi), for targeted silencing of transcription in bacteria and human cells. The CRISPRi system is derived from the Streptococcus pyogenes CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats) pathway, requiring only the coexpression of a catalytically inactive Cas9 protein and a customizable single guide RNA (sgRNA). The Cas9-sgRNA complex binds to DNA elements complementary to the sgRNA and causes a steric block that halts transcript elongation by RNA polymerase, resulting in the repression of the target gene. Here we provide a protocol for the design, construction and expression of customized sgRNAs for transcriptional repression of any gene of interest. We also provide details for testing the repression activity of CRISPRi using quantitative fluorescence assays and native elongating transcript sequencing. CRISPRi provides a simplified approach for rapid gene repression within 1-2 weeks. The method can also be adapted for high-throughput interrogation of genome-wide gene functions and genetic interactions, thus providing a complementary approach to RNA interference, which can be used in a wider variety of organisms.


Gilbert L.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Gilbert L.A.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Gilbert L.A.,California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research | Gilbert L.A.,University of California at Berkeley | And 38 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2013

The genetic interrogation and reprogramming of cells requires methods for robust and precise targeting of genes for expression or repression. The CRISPR-associated catalytically inactive dCas9 protein offers a general platform for RNA-guided DNA targeting. Here, we show that fusion of dCas9 to effector domains with distinct regulatory functions enables stable and efficient transcriptional repression or activation in human and yeast cells, with the site of delivery determined solely by a coexpressed short guide (sg)RNA. Coupling of dCas9 to a transcriptional repressor domain can robustly silence expression of multiple endogenous genes. RNA-seq analysis indicates that CRISPR interference (CRISPRi)-mediated transcriptional repression is highly specific. Our results establish that the CRISPR system can be used as a modular and flexible DNA-binding platform for the recruitment of proteins to a target DNA sequence, revealing the potential of CRISPRi as a general tool for the precise regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic cells. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Gilbert L.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Gilbert L.A.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Gilbert L.A.,California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research | Horlbeck M.A.,University of California at San Francisco | And 30 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2014

While the catalog of mammalian transcripts and their expression levels in different cell types and disease states is rapidly expanding, our understanding of transcript function lags behind. We present a robust technology enabling systematic investigation of the cellular consequences of repressing or inducing individual transcripts. We identify rules for specific targeting of transcriptional repressors (CRISPRi), typically achieving 90%-99% knockdown with minimal off-target effects, and activators (CRISPRa) to endogenous genes via endonuclease-deficient Cas9. Together they enable modulation of gene expression over a ∼1,000-fold range. Using these rules, we construct genome-scale CRISPRi and CRISPRa libraries, each of which we validate with two pooled screens. Growth-based screens identify essential genes, tumor suppressors, and regulators of differentiation. Screens for sensitivity to a cholera-diphtheria toxin provide broad insights into the mechanisms of pathogen entry, retrotranslocation and toxicity. Our results establish CRISPRi and CRISPRa as powerful tools that provide rich and complementary information for mapping complex pathways. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Vembar S.S.,University of Pittsburgh | Jonikas M.C.,University of California at San Francisco | Jonikas M.C.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Jonikas M.C.,California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2010

Hsp70 chaperones can potentially interact with one of several J domain-containing Hsp40 co-chaperones to regulate distinct cellular processes. However, features within Hsp70s that determine Hsp40 specificity are undefined. To investigate this question, we introduced mutations into the ER-lumenal Hsp70, BiP/ Kar2p, and found that an R217A substitution in the J domain-interacting surface of BiP compromised the physical and functional interaction with Sec63p, an Hsp40 required for ER translocation. In contrast, interaction with Jem1p, an Hsp40 required for ER-associated degradation, was unaffected. Moreover, yeast expressing R217A BiP exhibited defects in translocation but not in ER-associated degradation. Finally, the genetic interactions of the R217A BiP mutant were found to correlate with those of known translocation mutants. Together, our results indicate that residues within the Hsp70 J domain-interacting surface help confer Hsp40 specificity, in turn influencing distinct chaperone-mediated cellular activities. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Qi L.S.,University of California at San Francisco | Qi L.S.,California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research | Larson M.H.,University of California at San Francisco | Larson M.H.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | And 17 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2013

Targeted gene regulation on a genome-wide scale is a powerful strategy for interrogating, perturbing, and engineering cellular systems. Here, we develop a method for controlling gene expression based on Cas9, an RNA-γuided DNA endonuclease from a type II CRISPR system. We show that a catalytically dead Cas9 lacking endonuclease activity, when coexpressed with a guide RNA, generates a DNA recognition complex that can specifically interfere with transcriptional elongation, RNA polymerase binding, or transcription factor binding. This system, which we call CRISPR interference (CRISPRi), can efficiently repress expression of targeted genes in Escherichia coli, with no detectable off-target effects. CRISPRi can be used to repress multiple target genes simultaneously, and its effects are reversible. We also show evidence that the system can be adapted for gene repression in mammalian cells. This RNA-γuided DNA recognition platform provides a simple approach for selectively perturbing gene expression on a genome-wide scale. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Zalatan J.G.,University of California at San Francisco | Zalatan J.G.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Zalatan J.G.,University of Washington | Lee M.E.,University of California at Berkeley | And 22 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2015

Eukaryotic cells execute complex transcriptional programs in which specific loci throughout the genome are regulated in distinct ways by targeted regulatory assemblies. We have applied this principle to generate synthetic CRISPR-based transcriptional programs in yeast and human cells. By extending guide RNAs to include effector protein recruitment sites, we construct modular scaffold RNAs that encode both target locus and regulatory action. Sets of scaffold RNAs can be used to generate synthetic multigene transcriptional programs in which some genes are activated and others are repressed. We apply this approach to flexibly redirect flux through a complex branched metabolic pathway in yeast. Moreover, these programs can be executed by inducing expression of the dCas9 protein, which acts as a single master regulatory control point. CRISPR-associated RNA scaffolds provide a powerful way to construct synthetic gene expression programs for a wide range of applications, including rewiring cell fates or engineering metabolic pathways. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Peters J.M.,University of California at San Francisco | Colavin A.,Stanford University | Shi H.,Stanford University | Czarny T.L.,McMaster University | And 20 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2016

Essential gene functions underpin the core reactions required for cell viability, but their contributions and relationships are poorly studied in vivo. Using CRISPR interference, we created knockdowns of every essential gene in Bacillus subtilis and probed their phenotypes. Our high-confidence essential gene network, established using chemical genomics, showed extensive interconnections among distantly related processes and identified modes of action for uncharacterized antibiotics. Importantly, mild knockdown of essential gene functions significantly reduced stationary-phase survival without affecting maximal growth rate, suggesting that essential protein levels are set to maximize outgrowth from stationary phase. Finally, high-throughput microscopy indicated that cell morphology is relatively insensitive to mild knockdown but profoundly affected by depletion of gene function, revealing intimate connections between cell growth and shape. Our results provide a framework for systematic investigation of essential gene functions in vivo broadly applicable to diverse microorganisms and amenable to comparative analysis. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Lee S.,University of California at San Francisco | Lim W.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Lim W.A.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Lim W.A.,California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research | Thorn K.S.,University of California at San Francisco
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Fluorescent protein fusions are a powerful tool to monitor the localization and trafficking of proteins. Such studies are particularly easy to carry out in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae due to the ease with which tags can be introduced into the genome by homologous recombination. However, the available yeast tagging plasmids have not kept pace with the development of new and improved fluorescent proteins. Here, we have constructed yeast optimized versions of 19 different fluorescent proteins and tested them for use as fusion tags in yeast. These include two blue, seven green, and seven red fluorescent proteins, which we have assessed for brightness, photostability and perturbation of tagged proteins. We find that EGFP remains the best performing green fluorescent protein, that TagRFP-T and mRuby2 outperform mCherry as red fluorescent proteins, and that mTagBFP2 can be used as a blue fluorescent protein tag. Together, the new tagging vectors we have constructed provide improved blue and red fluorescent proteins for yeast tagging and three color imaging. © 2013 Lee et al.


Battle A.,Stanford University | Jonikas M.C.,University of California at San Francisco | Jonikas M.C.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Jonikas M.C.,California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Systems Biology | Year: 2010

High-throughput quantitative genetic interaction (GI) measurements provide detailed information regarding the structure of the underlying biological pathways by reporting on functional dependencies between genes. However, the analytical tools for fully exploiting such information lag behind the ability to collect these data. We present a novel Bayesian learning method that uses quantitative phenotypes of double knockout organisms to automatically reconstruct detailed pathway structures. We applied our method to a recent data set that measures GIs for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) genes, using the unfolded protein response as a quantitative phenotype. The results provided reconstructions of known functional pathways including N-linked glycosylation and ER-associated protein degradation. It also contained novel relationships, such as the placement of SGT2 in the tail-anchored biogenesis pathway, a finding that we experimentally validated. Our approach should be readily applicable to the next generation of quantitative GI data sets, as assays become available for additional phenotypes and eventually higher-level organisms. © 2010 EMBO and Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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