Cas9-chromatin binding information enables more accurate CRISPR off-target prediction

  • Singh R
  • Kuscu C
  • Quinlan A
 et al. 
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The CRISPR system has become a powerful biological tool with a wide range of applications. However, improving targeting specificity and accurately predicting potential off-targets remains a significant goal. Here, we introduce a web-based CR: ISPR/Cas9 O: ff-target P: rediction and I: dentification T: ool (CROP-IT) that performs improved off-target binding and cleavage site predictions. Unlike existing prediction programs that solely use DNA sequence information; CROP-IT integrates whole genome level biological information from existing Cas9 binding and cleavage data sets. Utilizing whole-genome chromatin state information from 125 human cell types further enhances its computational prediction power. Comparative analyses on experimentally validated datasets show that CROP-IT outperforms existing computational algorithms in predicting both Cas9 binding as well as cleavage sites. With a user-friendly web-interface, CROP-IT outputs scored and ranked list of potential off-targets that enables improved guide RNA design and more accurate prediction of Cas9 binding or cleavage sites.

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  • Ritambhara Singh

  • Cem Kuscu

  • Aaron Quinlan

  • Yanjun Qi

  • Mazhar Adli

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