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ABSTRACT Spatial/temporal control of Cas9 guide RNA expression could considerably expand the utility of CRISPR-based technologies. Current approaches based on tRNA processing offer a promising strategy but suffer from high background. Here we developed a variant screening platform to identify differential sequence determinants of human tRNA promoter and processing activities. Rational design based on the ensuing principles allowed us to engineer an improved tRNA scaffold that enabled highly specific guide RNA production from a Pol-II promoter.

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