Shao Y, Guan Y, Wang L, et al. CRISPR/Cas-mediated genome editing in the rat via direct injection of one-cell embryos[J]. Nature Protocols, 2014, 9(10): 2493-2512.
Conventional embryonic stem cell (ESC)-based gene targeting, zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) and transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) technologies are powerful strategies for the generation of genetically modified animals. Recently, the CRISPR/Cas system has emerged as an efficient and convenient alternative to these approaches. We have used the CRISPR/Cas system to generate rat strains that carry mutations in multiple genes through direct injection of RNAs into one-cell embryos, demonstrating the high efficiency of Cas9-mediated gene editing in rats for simultaneous generation of compound gene mutant models. Here we describe a stepwise procedure for the generation of knockout and knock-in rats. This protocol provides guidelines for the selection of genomic targets, synthesis of guide RNAs, design and construction of homologous recombination (HR) template vectors, embryo microinjection, and detection of mutations and insertions in founders or their progeny. The procedure from target design to identification of founders can take as little as 6 weeks, of which <10 d is actual hands-on working time.