Genome editing with CRISPR technology is a powerful method for manipulating the genetic material held inside a multitude of different cell types.
So what’s the big deal about synthetic RNA?
Why should you be using it instead of plasmid-derived or in vitro transcribed (IVT) guides?
And perhaps most importantly, how do you explain your reasoning to the PI in your lab?
Read on to find out the top five things you should be telling your PI (forward them this blog post and they’ll soon begin to come around to your way of thinking!).
1. Synthetics will provide consistency between experimental replicates
With plasmid-derived guides you have 6 steps to complete after choosing your target sequence, with IVT you have 4 – these multi-step processes can cause your consistency to diminish. Working with RNA from a consistently pure synthesis process, generates consistent CRISPR genome editing, and therefore consistent experimental results. At Synthego we control both the quality and the exact amount of RNA that you need for your transfection or microinjection, meaning your results aren’t just consistent; they’re consistently good.
The chart below shows average and variance of multiple experiments conducted on the PRKGC gene (HEK293T cells); Synthego CRISPRevolution editing efficiency is up to 4.4 times better than that of IVT guides.
2. Skip the design and purification stages and spend your time more wisely
Producing plasma-derived or IVT guides can take days (7-14 days and 1-3 days respectively). In the very best case that’s an entire day away from the mountain of other work that’s on your ‘to do’ list. With synthetic RNA simply go online and order what you need – it’ll be sent out and with you within just a few days. Recently we spoke to Erin Jarvis from the Patel Lab at University of California, Berkeley; she said that “the biggest advantages [of using synthetic RNA] are undoubtedly the reduced time and energy needed.” You also don’t need to worry about running low on reagents or purification columns, when synthetic kits arrive at your desk it’s ready to go.
3. Minimal expense for maximum benefit
Scientific research is a fast paced environment where budgets are often stretched. As we described above, using synthetic guides to carry out CRISPR editing is a clear time-saver; time is money. Maybe we’d concede that other methods would be valid options if they were magnitudes cheaper, but let’s face it – synthetic RNA offers an unbeatable price point when compared to the cost of preparing guides in your own lab. Better still, Synthego can synthesize cr/tracrRNA and sgRNA at smaller scales than anyone else in the industry, so you pay for what you need; no more.
4. Modify your synthetics for tricky editing
The possibilities for genome editing are vast, and getting to grips with challenging cell types such as stem cells and K562 cell lines to name just a few, means that you need an editing method that allows you to make modifications to the process. Synthetics are your only option here; you simply cannot make the types of modifications necessary to work with these challenging cell types when using plasmid or IVT approaches. With the potential for human therapeutics involving CRISPR now becoming a reality, it’s important that we have precise control over targeting; synthetics are the only process which truly offers this control.
5. Industry leaders are using synthetics
Using synthetics isn’t something that is on the fringes of the CRISPR world; the top industry leaders are swiftly making the move from plasmid and IVT methods to synthetics. Synthego customers are now based all over the world, and include institutions such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and many more.
A Scientist from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute told us, “Our cutting edge research on hemoglobinopathies and immune deficiency diseases at the Children’s hospital requires reagents that have the highest stability, efficiency and consistency” – that’s what we’re delivering with high quality synthetic RNA.
As we’ve discussed, it saves time and money while generating consistent results – so all that’s left to say is, why haven’t you made the move to synthetics yet?