High-throughput analysis of type I-E CRISPR/Cas spacer acquisition in E. coli

Ekaterina Savitskaya, Ekaterina Semenova, Vladimir Dedkov, Anastasia Metlitskaya, Konstantin Severinov

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83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Escherichia coli, the acquisition of new CRISPR spacers is strongly stimulated by a priming interaction between a spacer in CRISPR RNA and a protospacer in foreign DNA. Priming also leads to a pronounced bias in DNA strand from which new spacers are selected. Here, ca. 200,000 spacers acquired during E. coli type I-E CRISPR/Cas-driven plasmid elimination were analyzed. Analysis of positions of plasmid protospacers from which newly acquired spacers have been derived is inconsistent with spacer acquisition machinery sliding along the target DNA as the primary mechanism responsible for strand bias during primed spacer acquisition. Most protospacers that served as donors of newly acquired spacers during primed spacer acquisition had an AAG protospacer adjacent motif, PAM. Yet, the introduction of multiple AAG sequences in the target DNA had no effect on the choice of protospacers used for adaptation, which again is inconsistent with the sliding mechanism. Despite a strong preference for an AAG PAM during CRISPR adaptation, the AAG (and CTT) triplets do not appear to be avoided in known E. coli phages. Likewise, PAM sequences are not avoided in Streptococcus thermophilus phages, indicating that CRISPR/Cas systems may not have been a strong factor in shaping host-virus interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-725
Number of pages10
JournalRNA Biology
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bacteriophage
  • CRISPR adaptation
  • CRISPR/Cas systems
  • Escherichia coli
  • High-throughput sequencing

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