Gene knockout is important for understanding gene function and genetic disorders. The CRISPR/Cas9 system has great potential to achieve this purpose. However, we cannot distinguish visually whether a gene is knocked out and in how many cells it is knocked out among a population of cells. Here, we developed a new system that enables the labelling of knockout cells with fluorescent protein through microhomology-mediated end joining–based knock-in. Using a combination with recombinant adeno-associated virus, we delivered our system into the retina, where the expression of Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 was driven by a retina ganglion cell (RGC)–specific promoter, and knocked out carnitine acetyltransferase (CAT). We evaluated RGCs and revealed that CAT is required for RGC survival. Furthermore, we applied our system to Keap1 and confirmed that Keap1 is not expressed in fluorescently labelled cells. Our system provides a promising framework for cell type–specific genome editing and fluorescent labelling of gene knockout based on knock-in.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Plant Science
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis