Fitzgerald J. Applications of CRISPR for musculoskeletal research. Bone Joint Res 2020; 9(7):351-359.
Bone Joint Res
The ability to edit DNA at the nucleotide level using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) systems is a relatively new investigative tool that is revolutionizing the analysis of many aspects of human health and disease, including orthopaedic disease. CRISPR, adapted for mammalian cell genome editing from a bacterial defence system, has been shown to be a flexible, programmable, scalable, and easy-to-use gene editing tool. Recent improvements increase the functionality of CRISPR through the engineering of specific elements of CRISPR systems, the discovery of new, naturally occurring CRISPR molecules, and modifications that take CRISPR beyond gene editing to the regulation of gene transcription and the manipulation of RNA. Here, the basics of CRISPR genome editing will be reviewed, including a description of how it has transformed some aspects of molecular musculoskeletal research, and will conclude by speculating what the future holds for the use of CRISPR-related treatments and therapies in clinical orthopaedic practice.