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Small-molecule control of super-Mendelian inheritance in gene drives

By Víctor López Del Amo, Brittany S Leger, Kurt J. Cox, Shubhroz Gill, Alena L Bishop, Garrett D Scanlon, James A. Walker, Valentino M Gantz, Amit Choudhary

Posted 14 Jun 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/665620 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107841)

By surpassing the 50% inheritance limit of Mendel's law of independent assortment, CRISPR-based gene drives have the potential to fight vector-borne diseases or suppress crop pests. However, contemporary gene drives could spread unchecked, posing safety concerns that limit their use in both laboratory and field settings. Current technologies also lack chemical control strategies, which could be applied in the field for dose, spatial and temporal control of gene drives. We describe in Drosophila the first gene-drive system controlled by an engineered Cas9 and a synthetic, orally-available small molecule.

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