Deciphering and simulating models of radiation genotoxicity with CRISPR/Cas9 systems
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This short review explores the utility and applications of CRISPR/Cas9 systems in radiobiology. Specifically, in the context of experimentally simulating genotoxic effects of Ionizing Radiation (IR) to determine the contributions from DNA targets and 'Complex Double-Stranded Breaks' (complex DSBs) to the IR response. To elucidate this objective, this review considers applications of CRISPR/Cas9 on nuclear DNA targets to recognize the respective 'nucleocentric' response. The article also highlights contributions from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) - an often under-recognized target in radiobiology. This objective requires accurate experimental simulation of IR-like effects and parameters with the CRISPR/Cas9 systems. Therefore, the role of anti-CRISPR proteins in modulating enzyme activity to simulate dose rate - an important factor in radiobiology experiments is an important topic of this review. The applications of auxiliary domains on the Cas9 nuclease to simulate oxidative base damage and multiple stressor experiments are also topics of discussion. Ultimately, incorporation of CRISPR/Cas9 experiments into computational parameters in radiobiology models of IR damage and shortcomings to the technology are discussed as well. Altogether, the simulation of IR parameters and lack of damage to non-DNA targets in the CRISPR/Cas9 system lends this rapidly emerging tool as an effective model of IR induced DNA damage. Therefore, this literature review ultimately considers the relevance of complex DSBs to radiobiology with respect to using the CRISPR/Cas9 system as an effective experimental tool in models of IR induced effects.
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