Gene Therapy

Scientists capture images of CRISPR/Cas9 in action

Posted on 12 July 2019

Using cryo-EM, researchers have captured three-dimensional images of how the major domains of CRISPR-Cas9 moves and interacts during and after DNA cleavage.

The Cas9 protein rearranging itself (indicated by the arrow) to enable the ‘scissoring’ action for cutting DNA

These images provide us with invaluable information to improve the efficiency of the gene-editing process so that we can hopefully correct disease-causing DNA mutations more quickly and precisely in the future.

UBC researcher Sriram Subramaniam, who led the cryo-EM studies.


  1. Zhu, X., Clarke, R., Puppala, A.K. et al. Cryo-EM structures reveal coordinated domain motions that govern DNA cleavage by Cas9. Nat Struct Mol Biol 26, 679–685 (2019).
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