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CRISPR-Csm for eukaryotic RNA knockdown and imaging without toxicity

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Targeted RNA degradation remains a challenge using existing methods owing to off-target effects and toxicity. We adapted the CRISPR-Csm complex, a multi-protein effector from type III CRISPR systems, for precise knockdown of nuclear or cytoplasmic transcripts in eukaryotic cells with minimal side effects.

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Fig. 1: Overview of the CRISPR-Csm system.


  1. Lennox, K. A. & Behlke, M. A. Mini-review on current strategies to knockdown long non-coding RNAs. J. Rare Dis. Res. Treat. 1, 66–70 (2016). A review article that describes the limitations of RNAi, especially for knockdown of long non-coding RNAs.

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  3. Kolesnik, M. V. et al. Deciphering the most complex prokaryotic immune system. Biochemistry (Moscow) 86, 1301–1314 (2021). This review article summarizes the type III CRISPR immune system.


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  4. Staals, R. H. J. et al. RNA Targeting by the Type III-A CRISPR-Cas Csm Complex of Thermus thermophilus. Mol. Cell 56, 518–530 (2014). This paper characterizes the RNA targeting and cleavage activity of the Csm complex.


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This is a summary of: Colognori, D., Trinidad, M. & Doudna, J. A. Precise transcript targeting by CRISPR-Csm complexes. Nat. Biotechnol. (2023).

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CRISPR-Csm for eukaryotic RNA knockdown and imaging without toxicity.
Nat Biotechnol (2023).

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