Benjamin Pruitt

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The RNA-guided nuclease Cas9 can be reengineered as a programmable transcription factor. However, modest levels of gene activation have limited potential applications. We describe an improved transcriptional regulator obtained through the rational design of a tripartite activator, VP64-p65-Rta (VPR), fused to nuclease-null Cas9. We demonstrate its utility(More)
We demonstrate that by altering the length of Cas9-associated guide RNA (gRNA) we were able to control Cas9 nuclease activity and simultaneously perform genome editing and transcriptional regulation with a single Cas9 protein. We exploited these principles to engineer mammalian synthetic circuits with combined transcriptional regulation and kill functions(More)
Here we present a generalized method of guide RNA “tuning” that enables Cas9 to discriminate between two target sites that differ by a single nucleotide polymorphism. We employ our methodology to generate a novel in vivo mutation prevention system in which Cas9 actively restricts the occurrence of undesired gain-of-function mutations within a population of(More)
Several groups have generated programmable transcription factors based on the versatile Cas9 protein, yet their relative potency and effectiveness across various cell types and species remain Users may view, print, copy, and download text and data-mine the content in such documents, for the purposes of academic research, subject always to the full(More)
RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for functional genomics with the capacity to comprehensively analyze host-pathogen interactions. High-throughput RNAi screening is used to systematically perturb cellular pathways and discover therapeutic targets, but the method can be tedious and requires extensive capital equipment and expensive reagents. To aid(More)
Several programmable transcription factors exist based on the versatile Cas9 protein, yet their relative potency and effectiveness across various cell types and species remain unexplored. Here, we compare Cas9 activator systems and examine their ability to induce robust gene expression in several human, mouse, and fly cell lines. We also explore the(More)
Recoding--the repurposing of genetic codons--is a powerful strategy for enhancing genomes with functions not commonly found in nature. Here, we report computational design, synthesis, and progress toward assembly of a 3.97-megabase, 57-codon Escherichia coli genome in which all 62,214 instances of seven codons were replaced with synonymous alternatives(More)
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