Cell Rep 2020 Jan;30(4):1195-1207.e7
Department of Biochemistry, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Aichi 480-1195, Japan. Electronic address:
Targeted knockin mediated by double-stranded DNA cleavage is accompanied by unwanted insertions and deletions (indels) at on-target and off-target sites. A nick-mediated approach scarcely generates indels but exhibits reduced efficiency of targeted knockin. Here, we demonstrate that tandem paired nicking, a method for targeted knockin involving two Cas9 nickases that create nicks at the homologous regions of the donor DNA and the genome in the same strand, scarcely creates indels at the edited genomic loci, while permitting the efficiency of targeted knockin largely equivalent to that of the Cas9-nuclease-based approach. Tandem paired nicking seems to accomplish targeted knockin by DNA recombination analogous to Holliday's model and creates intended genomic changes without introducing additional nucleotide changes, such as silent mutations. Targeted knockin through tandem paired nicking neither triggers significant p53 activation nor occurs preferentially in p53-suppressed cells. These properties of tandem paired nicking demonstrate its utility in precision genome engineering.