March 16, 2021

Changing the production function of diagnostic tests (2)

 The Cas proteins behind CRISPR diagnostics

CRISPR diagnostics explained in few words: 

There are many protein tools in the CRISPR toolbox. Each is suited to a particular suite of uses. For example, the common CRISPR protein Cas9 is well suited for genome editing. It is not suited for CRISPR diagnostics. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to the proteins behind CRISPR diagnostics: Cas12, Cas13, and Cas14.

 CRISPR diagnostics have two key components:

  • Protein-guide molecule complexes. These first cut specific nucleic acid sequences that the user wants to detect. After cutting a user-specified sequence, these complexes non-specifically cut other nucleic acids.
  • Modified nucleic acids (reporters). These produce a visual signal when cut. They are only cut if the user-specified nucleic acids are cut first. These modified nucleic acids make it easy to observe when the user-specified nucleic acids have been detected (cut).