Merck CRISPRi whole-genome libraries and pools

Thursday, 08 April, 2021 | Supplied by: Merck Pty Ltd

Merck has launched its CRISPR inhibition (CRISPRi) whole-genome libraries and pools to complement its suite of genome-editing products and technologies. CRISPRi is a useful tool for screening an entire genome, smaller gene family or individual targets. The CRISPRi libraries are fully customisable, providing the same flexibility as the entire family of Merck screening products.

Instead of imprecise DNA repair to knock out a gene, CRISPRi modulates gene expression, allowing for robust loss-of-function studies, even in essential genes, with few off-target effects. CRISPRi provides insights into the underlying biology often missed when only using gene knock out or overexpression studies. Using CRISPRi as a discovery tool, Merck says researchers can make scientific breakthroughs in identifying new disease pathways or drug targets.

The company claims that its whole CRISPRi libraries and pools offer algorithm design and scaffolding that has been shown to increase gene knock down, even in difficult-to-repress targets. The CRISPRi offerings feature pooled libraries containing the top five guide RNAs (gRNA) and a subpool of five additional gRNAs per gene for a total of 10 gRNAs targeting every gene; other competing technologies only offer three to five gRNAs, the company says.

Other features include: defined subpanels targeting gene groups including the druggable genome, cancer and apoptosis, membrane proteins, stress and protrostatis genes and others; a KRAB-dCas9 helper construct containing an expression-stabilising UCOE element; CRISPRi vectors engineered to include blue fluorescent protein and puromycin selection markers for easy downstream analysis; and 10x Genomics-compatibility for downstream single cell analysis.

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