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The hematopoietic system is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients, fighting infections, and repairing tissue damage. Hematopoietic system dysfunction therefore causes a range of serious health consequences. Lifelong hematopoiesis is maintained by repopulating multipotent hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that replenish shorter-lived, mature blood cell types. A prokaryotic mechanism of immunity, the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 nuclease system, has been recently "repurposed" to mutate mammalian genomes efficiently and in a sequence-specific manner. The application of this genome-editing technology to hematology has afforded new approaches for functional genomics and even the prospect of "correcting" dysfunctional HSCs in the treatment of serious genetic hematological diseases. In this Perspective, we provide an overview of three recent CRISPR/Cas9 methods in hematology: gene disruption, gene targeting, and saturating mutagenesis. We also summarize the technical considerations and advice provided during the May 2017 International Society of Experimental Hematology New Investigator Committee webinar on the same topic.

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Hematol

Publication Date





4 - 11


Animals, CRISPR-Cas Systems, Computational Biology, Gene Editing, Gene Targeting, Genetic Vectors, Genome, Hematology, Hematopoiesis, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Humans, Lentivirus, Multipotent Stem Cells, Mutagenesis, RNA, Guide