While CRISPR-Cas9 is best known as a programmable sequence-specific DNA endonuclease for gene editing applications, it can also be harnessed as a powerful programmable RNA binding protein. While the same DNA is present in each and every cell of our bodies, the function of each cell is driven by a completely different set of RNA molecules. As a result, cell-based RNA detection tools are critical for scientists to study healthy and diseased cellular processes, and to use that knowledge to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics. 

Dahlia Biosciences is using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to develop RNA detection reagents that will plug seamlessly into existing cell-based microscopy and flow cytometry workflows across two complementary applications: fixed-cell analysis and live-cell sorting.

RNA-targeting Cas9 Publications

2020, Sun, Theranostics. CRISPR-Sunspot: Imaging of endogenous low-abundance RNA at the single-molecule level in live cells
2019, Rao, RNA. Sequence-specific m6A demethylation in RNA by FTO fused to RCas9
2019, Wang, Anal Chem. RCasFISH: CRISPR/dCas9-Mediated in Situ Imaging of mRNA Transcripts in Fixed Cells and Tissues
2018, Strutt, eLife. RNA-dependent RNA targeting by CRISPR-Cas9
2015, Nelles, Cell. Programmable RNA Tracking in Live Cells with CRISPR/Cas9
2014, O’Connell, Nature. Programmable RNA recognition and cleavage by CRISPR/Cas9