CRISPR Assay May Help Diagnose Kidney Transplant Rejection Early On

Researchers from the American Chemical Society have developed a CRISPR assay that can sensitively and non-invasively detect a biomarker of acute kidney rejection in urine. In the future, this will allow diagnosing rejection at an earlier stage with no need of carrying out a biopsy.CRISPR Assay May Help Diagnose Kidney Transplant Rejection Early On

Previously, a team of researchers discovered that high levels of a cytokine protein called CXCL9 in the urine of kidney transplant patients was an early warning sign of rejection. But the current method for measuring CXCL9  doesn't work very well in urine, limiting its sensitivity. That’s why scientists aimed to develop a more sensitive technique for non-invasively diagnosing acute kidney rejection from urine.

The researchers used CRISPR/Cas12a gene-editing technology for the new assay. In the presence of the CXCL9 protein, the CRISPR/Cas12a enzyme cuts a probe to produce a fluorescent signal. The scientists boosted the fluorescent signal by attaching a DNA barcode that aggregates a large number of CRISPR/Cas12a molecules and is subsequently bound to an antibody that recognizes CXCL9.

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