Research Techniques Made Simple: The Application of CRISPR-Cas9 and Genome Editing in Investigative Dermatology

Joan Ramon Guitart, Jodi L. Johnson, Wade W. Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Designer nucleases have gained widespread attention for their ability to precisely modify genomic DNA in a programmable manner. These genome-editing nucleases make double-stranded breaks at specified loci, and desired changes can be made to modify, ablate, or excise target genes. This technology has been used widely to develop human disease models in laboratory animals and to study gene functions by silencing, activating, or modifying them. Furthermore, the recent discovery of a bacterially derived programmable nuclease termed clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated protein 9 (Cas9) has revolutionized the field because of its versatility and wide applicability. In this article, we discuss various modalities used to achieve genome editing with an emphasis on CRISPR-Cas9. We discuss genome-editing strategies to either repair or ablate target genes, with emphasis on their applications for investigating dermatological diseases. Additionally, we highlight preclinical studies showing the potential of genome editing as a therapy for congenital blistering diseases and as an antimicrobial agent, and we discuss limitations and future directions of this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e87-e93
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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