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Uncovering viral gene functions requires the modulation of gene expression through overexpression or loss-of-function. CRISPR interference (CRISPRi), a modification of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology, allows specific and efficient transcriptional silencing without genetic ablation. CRISPRi has been used to silence eukaryotic and prokaryotic genes at the single-gene and genome-wide levels. Here, we report the use of CRISPRi to silence latent and lytic viral genes, with an efficiency of ~80-90%, in epithelial and B-cells carrying multiple copies of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) genome. Our results validate CRISPRi for the analysis of KSHV viral elements, providing a functional genomics tool for studying virus-host interactions.


Kevin Brackett, Ameera Mungale, Mary Lopez-Isidro, Duncan A Proctor, Guillermo Najarro, Carolina Arias. CRISPR Interference Efficiently Silences Latent and Lytic Viral Genes in Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus-Infected Cells. Viruses. 2021 Apr 28;13(5)

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PMID: 33924938

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