Priming in the Type I-F CRISPR-Cas system triggers strand-independent spacer acquisition, bi-directionally from the primed protospacer

Corinna Richter, Ron L. Dy, Rebecca E. McKenzie, Bridget N.J. Watson, Corinda Taylor, James T. Chang, Matthew B. McNeil, Raymond H.J. Staals, Peter C. Fineran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), in combination with CRISPR associated (cas) genes, constitute CRISPR-Cas bacterial adaptive immune systems. To generate immunity, these systems acquire short sequences of nucleic acids from foreign invaders and incorporate these into their CRISPR arrays as spacers. This adaptation process is the least characterized step in CRISPR-Cas immunity. Here, we used Pectobacterium atrosepticum to investigate adaptation in Type I-F CRISPR-Cas systems. Pre-existing spacers that matched plasmids stimulated hyperactive primed acquisition and resulted in the incorporation of up to nine new spacers across all three native CRISPR arrays. Endogenous expression of the cas genes was sufficient, yet required, for priming. The new spacers inhibited conjugation and transformation, and interference was enhanced with increasing numbers of new spacers. We analyzed ∼350 new spacers acquired in priming events and identified a 5′-protospacer-GG-3′ protospacer adjacent motif. In contrast to priming in Type I-E systems, new spacers matched either plasmid strand and a biased distribution, including clustering near the primed protospacer, suggested a bi-directional translocation model for the Cas1:Cas2-3 adaptation machinery. Taken together these results indicate priming adaptation occurs in different CRISPR-Cas systems, that it can be highly active in wild-type strains and that the underlying mechanisms vary.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergku527
Pages (from-to)8516-8526
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic acids research
Volume42
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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    Richter, C., Dy, R. L., McKenzie, R. E., Watson, B. N. J., Taylor, C., Chang, J. T., McNeil, M. B., Staals, R. H. J., & Fineran, P. C. (2014). Priming in the Type I-F CRISPR-Cas system triggers strand-independent spacer acquisition, bi-directionally from the primed protospacer. Nucleic acids research, 42(13), 8516-8526. [gku527]. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gku527