Published: Nov. 17, 2021



One version of the CRISPR/Cas system, CRISPR/Cas12a, has been modified to provide useful tools for editing genomes. Cas12a-type nucleases have gained popularity due to their versatility and simplicity as compared to Cas9. These systems are useful but have some important limitations regarding efficiency and accuracy of targeted editing, resulting in impediments when used for commercially relevant applications. Therefore, a need exists for improved nucleic acid guided nucleases for directed and accurate editing with improved efficiency.


Researchers from the laboratory of Dr. Ryan Gill at the University of Colorado have developed a method of engineering chimeric Cas12a-type nucleases for improved targeted gene editing. This method was used to create 560 synthetic Cas12a-type nucleases, resulting in nucleases with diverse PAM preferences and on/off-targeting specificity. In addition to advantages afforded by Cas12a (AT rich PAM, staggered cuts, and simpler multiplex editing), these chimeric nucleases have capabilities to fit specific gene editing needs.


  • Alternative PAM preferences
  • Higher specificity to wild-type sequences
  • Activity demonstrated in yeast and HEK293T cells
  • Multiple nuclease options to suit specific genome editing needs
  • Methodology can be used to create further tailored nucleases

What's Next?

Available for licensing.


Nicole Forsberg: