Establishing a dual knock-out cell line by lentivirus based combined CRISPR/Cas9 and Loxp/Cre system

Ya Li, Weifeng Zhang, Junli Zhao, Sai Li, Linlin Shan, Jiuling Zhu, Yan Li, He Zhu, Qinwen Mao, Haibin Xia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The clustered regulatory interspersed short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) system has been widely used for gene knock-out. Lentiviral vectors have been commonly used as a delivery method for this system, however, prolonged Cas9/sgRNA expression due to lentiviral integration can lead to accumulating off-target mutations. To solve this issue in engineering a gene knock-out cell line, this study established a novel system, which was composed of two lentiviral vectors. One lentiviral vector carried simultaneously sgRNAs and CRISPR/Cas9 expression cassettes targeting single or multiple gene(s); the other lentiviral vector carried Cre that could remove excess sgRNAs and Cas9 expression cassettes in the genome after gene targeting was achieved. To prove the principle, two candidate genes, extracellular matrix protein 1 (ECM1) and progranulin (PGRN), both highly expressed in MDA-MB-231 cells, were selected for testing the novel system. A dual knock-out of ECM1 and PGRN was successfully achieved in MDA-MB-231 cell line, with the sgRNAs and Cas9 expression cassettes being removed by Cre. This system should have great potential in applications for multiple genes knock-out in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1595-1605
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Gene editing
  • Lentivirus
  • Loxp/Cre system
  • Off-target

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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