What is Cas9 protein that is often mentioned in news?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2019 Prelims]
(a) A molecular scissors used in targeted gene editing
(b) A biosensor used in the accurate detection of pathogens in patients
(c) A gene that makes plants pest-resistant
(d) A herbicidal substance synthesized in genetically modified crops
- CRISPR technology refers to a gene-editing technique that can modify genetic expression.
- This method involves using the Cas9 protein as molecular scissors in targeted DNA after scanning the genome for the correct location through Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR).
- Cas9 is an enzyme that can cut both strands of the DNA double helix at specific sites in the genome.
- It is a bacterial RNA-guided endonuclease that uses RNA base pairing to locate and cleave targeted DNA.