A vector with a single promoter for in vitro transcription and mammalian cell expression of CRISPR gRNAs

Peter J. Romanienko, Joseph Giacalone, Joanne Ingenito, Yijie Wang, Mayumi Isaka, Thomas Johnson, Yun You, Willie H. Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The genomes of more than 50 organisms have now been manipulated due to rapid advancement of gene editing technology. One way to perform gene editing in the mouse using the CRISPR/CAS system, guide RNA (gRNA) and CAS9 mRNA transcribed in vitro are microinjected into fertilized eggs that are then allowed to develop to term. As a rule, gRNAs are tested first in tissue culture cells and the one with the highest locus-specific cleavage activity is chosen for microinjection. For cell transfections, gRNAs are typically expressed using the human U6 promoter (hU6). However, gRNAs for microinjection into zygotes are obtained by in vitro transcription from a T7 bacteriophage promoter in a separate plasmid vector. Here, we describe the design and construction of a combined U6T7 hybrid promoter from which the same gRNA sequence can be expressed. An expression vector containing such a hybrid promoter can now be used to generate gRNA for testing in mammalian cells as well as for microinjection purposes. The gRNAs expressed and transcribed from this vector are found to be functional in cells as well as in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0148362
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the MSKCC Integrated Genomics Operation (IGO) for Sanger sequencing. This research was supported by the NIH/NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA008748 and internal funding from Sloan Kettering Institute (institutional funding).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Romanienko et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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