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CRISPER/Cas in Plant Natural Product Research: Therapeutics as Anticancer and other Drug Candidates and Recent Patents

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 4 ]


Abhijit Dey* and Samapika Nandy   Pages 460 - 468 ( 9 )


Background: Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR- associated9 (Cas9) endonuclease system is a facile, highly efficient and selective site-directed mutagenesis tool for RNA-guided genome-editing. CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing strategy uses designed guide-RNAs that recognizes a 3 base-pair protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence in the target-DNA. CRISPR/Cas-editing tools have mainly been employed in crop plants in relation to yield and stress tolerance. However, the immense potential of this technology has not yet been fully utilized in medicinal plants in deciphering or modulating secondary metabolic pathways producing therapeutically active phytochemicals against cancer and other diseases.

Objective: The present review elucidates the use of CRISPR-Cas9 as a promising genome-editing tool in plants and plant-derived natural products with anticancer and other therapeutic applications. It also includes recent patents on the therapeutic applications of CRISPR-CAS systems implicated to cancer and other human medical conditions.

Methods: Popular search engines, such as PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Google Patents, Medline, ScienceDirect, SpringerLink, EMBASE, Mendeley, etc., were searched in order to retrieve literature using relevant keywords viz. CRISPER/Cas, plant natural product research, anticancer, therapeutics, etc., either singly or in various combinations.

Results: Retrieved citations and further cross-referencing among the literature have resulted in a total number of 71 publications and 3 patents are being cited in this work. Information presented in this review aims to support further biotechnological and clinical strategies to be carried using CRISPER/ Cas mediated optimization of plant natural products against cancer and an array of other human medical conditions.

Conclusion: Off late, knock-in and knock-out, point mutation, controlled tuning of gene-expression and targeted mutagenesis have enabled the versatile CRISPR/Cas-editing device to engineer medicinal plants’ genomes. In addition, by combining CRISPR/Cas-editing tool with next-generation sequencing (NGS) and various tools of system biology, many medicinal plants have been engineered genetically to optimize the production of valuable bioactive compounds of industrial significance.


CRISPR/Cas, medicinal plants, natural products, next-generation sequencing, system biology, CRISPR-Cas9.


Department of Life Sciences, Presidency University, 86/1 College Street, Kolkata 700073, Department of Life Sciences, Presidency University, 86/1 College Street, Kolkata 700073

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