CRISPR or CRISPR-Cas9 is commonly used to refer to a revolutionary genome editing technology that enables efficient and precise genomic modifications in a wide variety of organisms and tissues.

What is CRISPR?

Definition: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat or CRISPR (pronounced 'crisper') was identified in a prokaryotic defence system1. CRISPR are sections of genetic code containing short repetitions of base sequences followed by spacer DNA segments.

Find out more about how CRISPR works.

Horizon Discovery is one of only a few organizations worldwide that has access to CRISPR licensing from the Broad Institute in addition to a range of other patents and license agreements.

CRISPR Applications

Our CRISPR screening provides a comprehensive solution including screen design, CRISPR libraries and extensive bioinformatics analysis of screening results.

CRISPR screening

Horizon Discovery has a library of over 20,000 CRISPR cell lines and can also engineer custom cell lines in your gene of interest.

CRISPR cell line generation

Explore our products for successful CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering; from Cas9 nucleases & CRISPR guide RNA to CRISPR controls and detection primers, CRISPR-cas9 screening libraries and HDR donor templates.

CRISPR reagents

CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing

Who discovered CRISPR?

In 2012, Jennifer Doudna & Emmanuelle Charpentier's research showed how CRISPR can be used for gene editing in the lab2.

In the laboratory, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing is achieved by transfecting a cell with the Cas9 protein along with a specially designed guide RNA (gRNA) that directs the cut through hybridization with its matching genomic sequence. When the cell repairs that break, errors can occur to generate a gene knockout or additional genetic modifications can be introduced.

Cas9 unwinds the double stranded DNA allowing the sgRNA to basepair with one strand and subsequently cleave both strands.

CRISPR genome editing

Use of wild-type Cas9 has been shown to lead to off-target cleavage, but a modified version introduces only single strand “nicks” to the DNA, which in pairs still stimulate the repair mechanisms while significantly decreasing the risk of off-target cutting.

Our CRISPR gene editing technology is particularly good for the efficient generation of complete knockout of genes on multiple alleles.

Horizon has licensed gene editing IP from Harvard University, the Broad Institute and ERS Genomics with the goal of being able to ensure that we will be able to offer uninterrupted use of CRISPR tools to our customers. Our scientists have extensive knowledge of CRISPR technology including the benefits of using each Cas9 structure.

Other Gene Editing Systems

Genome editing can be achieved using the widely used S. Pyogenes (spCas9), and also utilising CRISPR-Cas9 protocol for S. Aureus (scCas9), Cpf1, HiFi Cas9, Nickase Cas9, Nuclease Cas9 and even synthetic spCas9 with alternative PAM sites.

Our genome editing capabilities and knowledge also includes:

rAAV transposons ZFN

CRISPR Explained

Continue your CRIPSR-Cas9 research with our popular education and training webinars:


1Barrangou R, Fremaux C, Deveau H, Richards M, Boyaval P, Moineau S, Romero DA, Horvath P. 2007.
CRISPR provides acquired resistance against viruses in prokaryotes. Science 315(5819): 1709-1712.

2 Jinek M, Chylinski K, Fonfara I, Hauer M, Doudna JA, Charpentier E. 2012.
A programmable dual-RNA-guided DNA endonuclease in adaptive bacterial immunity. Science 337(6096): 816-821.

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