Research Article

CRISPR/Cas Class 2 systems and their applications in biotechnological processes

Published: March 30, 2020
Genet. Mol. Res. 19(1): GMR18478 DOI: 10.4238/gmr18478


Since 2012, CRISPR/Cas technologies have revolutionized the field of modern molecular biology and biotechnology due to their ability to direct a Cas nuclease to cleave specific nucleic acid sequences with a guide RNA (crRNA), providing dynamic tools for many applications, being naturally derived from the adaptive immune system of prokaryotes. The most widely used toolbox for genome editing, modulation, and detection contains types II, V and VI of class 2 systems, categorized and characterized by Cas9, Cas12, and Cas13, respectively. In recent years, given the wide application of Class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems as molecular tools, there has been a focus on the discovery, characterization, and specificity of Cas effector nucleases from these systems, generating even more possibilities for the development of new applications. We reviewed the scientific literature on current knowledge of CRISPR-Cas systems and recent advances in biotechnology involving class 2 systems between 2000 and 2019. For this, we searched for original articles indexed in the following databases: PubMed, Scopus, SciELO, Periodicos Capes and Google Scholar, and used keyword combinations  such as “CRISPR / Cas Class 2 systems”, “Cas9”, “Cas12”, “Cas13”, “Genome editing” and “diagnostic detection”. Eighty original articles were obtained, 55 of them were selected for this review because they match with the keywords and the years of publication.