Genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells

Cory Smith, Zhaohui Ye, Linzhao Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), defined by their capacity for self-renewal and differentiation into all cell types, are an integral tool for basic biological research and disease modeling. However, full use of PSCs for research and regenerative medicine requires the ability to precisely edit their DNA to correct disease-causing mutations and for functional analysis of genetic variations. Recent advances in DNA editing of human stem cells (including PSCs) have benefited from the use of designer nucleases capable of making double-strand breaks (DSBs) at specific sequences that stimulate endogenous DNA repair. The clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)–Cas9 system has become the preferred designer nuclease for genome editing in human PSCs and other cell types. Here we describe the principles for designing a single guide RNA to uniquely target a gene of interest and describe strategies for disrupting, inserting, or replacing a specific DNA sequence in human PSCs. The improvements in efficiency and ease provided by these techniques allow individuals to precisely engineer PSCs in a way previously limited to large institutes and core facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-319
Number of pages4
JournalCold Spring Harbor Protocols
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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