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Endosomal Escape and Delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Machinery Enabled by Nanoscale Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework

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journal contribution
posted on 22.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Shahad K. Alsaiari, Sachin Patil, Mram Alyami, Kholod O. Alamoudi, Fajr A. Aleisa, Jasmeen S. Merzaban, Mo Li, Niveen M. Khashab
CRISPR/Cas9 is a combined protein (Cas9) and an engineered single guide RNA (sgRNA) genome editing platform that offers revolutionary solutions to genetic diseases. It has, however, a double delivery problem owning to the large protein size and the highly charged RNA component. In this work, we report the first example of CRISPR/Cas9 encapsulated by nanoscale zeolitic imidazole frameworks (ZIFs) with a loading efficiency of 17% and enhanced endosomal escape promoted by the protonated imidazole moieties. The gene editing potential of CRISPR/Cas9 encapsulated by ZIF-8 (CC-ZIFs) is further verified by knocking down the gene expression of green fluorescent protein by 37% over 4 days. The nanoscale CC-ZIFs are biocompatible and easily scaled-up offering excellent loading capacity and controlled codelivery of intact Cas9 protein and sgRNA.