1 Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine in Ministry of Education, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
2 Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou Guangdong 510530, China
3 SBS Core Laboratory, CUHK Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen Guangdong 518057, China
This study was supported by funds provided by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (CUHK 14104614,TBF16ENG007 and TBF17MED002 to B.F.; and 3132966 to W.Y.C.),and in part by funds from the Croucher Foundation (CAS16CU01/ CAS16401 to W.Y.C.) and the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2015CB964700 to Y.L.)
Prokaryotic type II adaptive immune systems have been developed into the versatile CRISPR technology, which has been widely applied in site-specific genome editing and has revolutionized biomedical research due to its superior efficiency and flexibility. Recent studies have greatly diversified CRISPR technologies by coupling it with various DNA repair mechanisms and targeting strategies. These new advances have significantly expanded the generation of genetically modified animal models, either by including species in which targeted genetic modification could not be achieved previously, or through introducing complex genetic modifications that take multiple steps and cost years to achieve using traditional methods. Herein, we review the recent developments and applications of CRISPR-based technology in generating various animal models, and discuss the everlasting impact of this new progress on biomedical research.