The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a robust genome editing technology that works in human cells, animals and plants based on the RNA-programmed DNA cleaving activity of the Cas9 enzyme. Building on previous work (Jinek et al., 2013), we show here that new genetic information can be introduced site-specifically and with high efficiency by homology-directed repair (HDR) of Cas9-induced site-specific double-strand DNA breaks using timed delivery of Cas9-guide RNA ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. Cas9 RNP-mediated HDR in HEK293T, human primary neonatal fibroblast and human embryonic stem cells was increased dramatically relative to experiments in unsynchronized cells, with rates of HDR up to 38% observed in HEK293T cells. Sequencing of on- and potential off-target sites showed that editing occurred with high fidelity, while cell mortality was minimized. This approach provides a simple and highly effective strategy for enhancing site-specific genome engineering in both transformed and primary human cells.
- Detlef Weigel, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany
© 2014, Lin et al.
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Lateral partitioning of proteins and lipids shapes membrane function. In model membranes, partitioning can be influenced both by bilayer-intrinsic factors like molecular composition and by bilayer-extrinsic factors such as interactions with other membranes and solid supports. While cellular membranes can departition in response to bilayer-intrinsic or -extrinsic disruptions, the mechanisms by which they partition de novo are largely unknown. The plasma membrane of Mycobacterium smegmatis spatially and biochemically departitions in response to the fluidizing agent benzyl alcohol, then repartitions upon fluidizer washout. By screening for mutants that are sensitive to benzyl alcohol, we show that the bifunctional cell wall synthase PonA2 promotes membrane partitioning and cell growth during recovery from benzyl alcohol exposure. PonA2’s role in membrane repartitioning and regrowth depends solely on its conserved transglycosylase domain. Active cell wall polymerization promotes de novo membrane partitioning and the completed cell wall polymer helps to maintain membrane partitioning. Our work highlights the complexity of membrane–cell wall interactions and establishes a facile model system for departitioning and repartitioning cellular membranes.
mTORC1 senses nutrients and growth factors and phosphorylates downstream targets, including the transcription factor TFEB, to coordinate metabolic supply and demand. These functions position mTORC1 as a central controller of cellular homeostasis, but the behavior of this system in individual cells has not been well characterized. Here, we provide measurements necessary to refine quantitative models for mTORC1 as a metabolic controller. We developed a series of fluorescent protein-TFEB fusions and a multiplexed immunofluorescence approach to investigate how combinations of stimuli jointly regulate mTORC1 signaling at the single-cell level. Live imaging of individual MCF10A cells confirmed that mTORC1-TFEB signaling responds continuously to individual, sequential, or simultaneous treatment with amino acids and the growth factor insulin. Under physiologically relevant concentrations of amino acids, we observe correlated fluctuations in TFEB, AMPK, and AKT signaling that indicate continuous activity adjustments to nutrient availability. Using partial least squares regression modeling, we show that these continuous gradations are connected to protein synthesis rate via a distributed network of mTORC1 effectors, providing quantitative support for the qualitative model of mTORC1 as a homeostatic controller and clarifying its functional behavior within individual cells.