Direct CRISPR spacer acquisition from RNA by a natural reverse transcriptase-Cas1 fusion protein.

Citation:

Silas S, Mohr G, Sidote DJ, Markham LM, Sanchez-Amat A, Bhaya D, Lambowitz AM, Fire AZ. Direct CRISPR spacer acquisition from RNA by a natural reverse transcriptase-Cas1 fusion protein. Science. 2016;351 (6276) :aad4234.

Date Published:

2016 Feb 26

Abstract:

CRISPR systems mediate adaptive immunity in diverse prokaryotes. CRISPR-associated Cas1 and Cas2 proteins have been shown to enable adaptation to new threats in type I and II CRISPR systems by the acquisition of short segments of DNA (spacers) from invasive elements. In several type III CRISPR systems, Cas1 is naturally fused to a reverse transcriptase (RT). In the marine bacterium Marinomonas mediterranea (MMB-1), we showed that a RT-Cas1 fusion protein enables the acquisition of RNA spacers in vivo in a RT-dependent manner. In vitro, the MMB-1 RT-Cas1 and Cas2 proteins catalyze the ligation of RNA segments into the CRISPR array, which is followed by reverse transcription. These observations outline a host-mediated mechanism for reverse information flow from RNA to DNA.