Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The CRISPR/Cas system in prokaryotes provides resistance against invading viruses and plasmids. Three distinct stages in the mechanism can be recognized. Initially, fragments of invader DNAare integrated as newspacers into the repetitive CRISPR locus. Subsequently, the CRISPR is transcribed and the transcript is cleaved by a Cas protein within the repeats, generating short RNAs (crRNAs) that contain the spacer sequence. Finally, crRNAs guide the Cas protein machinery to a complementary invader target, either DNAor RNA, resulting in inhibition of virus or plasmid proliferation. In this article, we discuss our current understanding of this fascinating adaptive and heritable defense system, and describe functional similarities and differences with RNAi in eukaryotes. © 2012 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

Original publication

DOI

10.1101/cshperspect.a003657

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology

Publication Date

01/06/2012

Volume

4

Pages

1 - 12