Sigma Life Science releases genome editing tool for screening and exploratory studies

Sigma-Aldrich® Corporation (Nasdaq: SIAL) today announced that Sigma® Life Science, its innovative biological products and services business, released Sigma CRISPRs, an inexpensive mammalian genome editing tool suitable for screening and exploratory studies. Sigma CRISPRs are packaged in a single plasmid vector containing GFP for fast enrichment of gene-edited cells and can be custom-designed online using an exclusive bioinformatics tool at www.sigma.com/crisprs.

Derived from bacterial and archaeal immune defenses, which guard against invading viruses and foreign DNA, Sigma CRISPRs utilize customizable RNA–nuclease complexes that allow introduction of genome edits at a desired site in mammalian genomes with high efficiency.

Sigma's exclusive online design tool allows users to identify the best target site(s) within human, mouse, and rat protein-coding exons that adhere to CRISPR/Cas targeting requirements. It is the only commercial tool that minimizes the possibility of off-target effects by automatically applying CRISPR/Cas best design practices, including a minimum requirement of three base-pair mismatches between the target site and other sites in the genome. Researchers can also request CRISPR/Cas targets derived from their own design preferences or they can engage Sigma's expert CompoZr® Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) bioinformatics team to produce a custom design based on cutting-edge public and proprietary CRISPR guidelines.

"Sigma developed CompoZr ZFN technology in 2008, and now ZFNs are the gold standard in genome editing.  We have used that expertise to create Sigma CRISPRs, which provide researchers a quicker and more affordable way to screen genes of interest.  After important targets have been identified with Sigma CRISPRs, the biologically relevant mutations can be validated with ultra-specific CompoZr ZFNs to reduce potential off-targeting," said Shawn Shafer, Ph.D., Functional Genomics Market Segment Manager at Sigma Life Science.

"The ability to manipulate mammalian genomes is transformative for biology. The Sigma CRISPR/Cas technology holds significant promise for development and use as an early, inexpensive tool for targeted gene editing," said Greg Davis, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, R&D at Sigma-Aldrich, whose team is actively working to advance the technology.

SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich Corporation

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