The use of new CRISPR tools in cardiovascular research and medicine
Many novel CRISPR-based genome-editing tools, with a wide variety of applications, have been developed in the past few years. The original CRISPR–Cas9 system was developed as a tool to alter genomic sequences in living organisms in a simple way. However, the functions of new CRISPR tools are not limited to conventional genome editing mediated by non-homologous end-joining or homology-directed repair but expand into gene-expression control, epigenome editing, single-nucleotide editing, RNA editing and live-cell imaging. Furthermore, genetic perturbation screening by multiplexing guide RNAs is gaining popularity as a method to identify causative genes and pathways in an unbiased manner. New CRISPR tools can also be applied to ex vivo or in vivo therapeutic genome editing for the treatment of conditions such as
hyperlipidaemia. In this Review, we first provide an overview of the diverse new CRISPR tools that have been developed to date. Second, we summarize how these new CRISPR tools are being used to study biological processes and disease mechanisms in cardiovascular research and medicine. Finally, we discuss the prospect of therapeutic genome editing by CRISPR tools to cure genetic cardiovascular diseases.