Washington: To access previously inaccessible genes to delete disease, protein editorial assistants are clearing the way for DNA editors like bacterial defence system CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats). Opening up these areas of the genetic code is critical to improving CRISPR efficiency and moving toward futuristic, genetic-based assaults on disease.
According to lead author Karmella Haynes, from Arizona State University and Emory University, “The innovation is having another protein co-delivered with the CRISPR DNA editor, moving chromatin packaging out of the way, so CRISPR has greater access to the DNA.” DNA doesn’t usually sit inside cells as a freely accessible double helix.
It’s heavily wrapped up in a protective package called chromatin, which controls what genes are activated or silenced by a cell at any moment in time. Unfortunately, this packaging prevents scientists, who are accessing DNA, from correcting disease-causing mutations.