CRISPR-Cas systems protect prokaryotes using RNA-guided nucleases that locate and destroy target sequences within plasmid and viral invaders, a property that has been repurposed for the development of widespread and revolutionary genome editing technologies. These technologies rely on the RNA-guided nuclease Cas9, which is part of the simplest CRISPR-Cas system. However, prokaryotes carry many different and more complex systems. I will discuss the most elaborate one, the Cas10 nuclease, to exemplify the tremendous diversity and mechanistic richness of CRISPR-Cas systems in the prokaryotic world.
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