Study shows that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing has a low risk of mistakes in Zebrafish

Neurons expressing human pathological Tau (red) and microglia (green) in the zebrafish embryonic brain. Credits: Nadia Soussi-Yaniscostas.
This is huge news for the zebrafish community and also for all the researchers looking for treatments against disorders that have a genetic base.

By Marina Müller (ZeClinics)

In the past, there was some concern about the possibility of secondary non-intended mutations generated by the use of CRISPR-Cas9. However, a study now shows that, especially in the Zebrafish model, the editing is so highly precise that the risk of mistakes is extremely rare.

This is huge news, not only for the zebrafish community but also for all the researchers looking for treatments against disorders that have a genetic base. The study is based on whole-exome sequencing (WES), done in over 50 individual organisms from three generations of zebrafish. The results show that CRISPR-Cas9 did not produce off-target gene mutations.

Taking into account the advantages that this model has for genetic manipulations (Such as ex-utero manipulation of individual eggs, the quick development and the fact that 82% of genes associated with human disease have a zebrafish counterpart) make this announcement even more promising for the future of drug discovery and functional genomics.

We want to congratulate author Nico Katsanis from The Advanced Center for Translational and Genetic Medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for the great work done and divulgating the promising news, and we hope that this will help to open even more great research in disease-causes and their associated treatments.


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