Engineered anti-CRISPR proteins for optogenetic control of CRISPR-Cas9
Authors: Bubeck F, Hoffmann MD, Harteveld Z, Aschenbrenner S, Bietz A, Waldhauer MC, Börner K, Fakhiri J, Schmelas C, Dietz L, Grimm D, Correia BE, Eils R, Niopek D
CellNetworks People: Eils Roland, Grimm Dirk
Journal: Nat Methods. 2018 Nov;15(11):924-927. doi: 10.1038/s41592-018-0178-9

Anti-CRISPR proteins are powerful tools for CRISPR-Cas9 regulation; the ability to precisely modulate their activity could facilitate spatiotemporally confined genome perturbations and uncover fundamental aspects of CRISPR biology. We engineered optogenetic anti-CRISPR variants comprising hybrids of AcrIIA4, a potent Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 inhibitor, and the LOV2 photosensor from Avena sativa. Coexpression of these proteins with CRISPR-Cas9 effectors enabled light-mediated genome and epigenome editing, and revealed rapid Cas9 genome targeting in human cells.