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Discovery of widespread Type I and Type V CRISPR-Cas inhibitors

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Science  06 Sep 2018:
eaau5174
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau5174

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Abstract

Bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems protect their host from bacteriophages and other mobile genetic elements. Mobile elements, in turn, encode various anti-CRISPR (Acr) proteins to inhibit the immune function of CRISPR-Cas. To date, Acr proteins have been discovered for type I (subtypes I-D, I-E, and I-F) and type II (II-A and II-C) but not other CRISPR systems. Here we report the discovery of 12 acr genes, including inhibitors of type V-A and I-C CRISPR systems. Notably, AcrVA1 inhibits a broad spectrum of Cas12a (Cpf1) orthologs including MbCas12a, Mb3Cas12a, AsCas12a, and LbCas12a when assayed in human cells. The acr genes reported here provide useful biotechnological tools and mark the discovery of acr loci in many bacteria and phages.

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