Expanding the CRISPR toolbox for Chinese hamster ovary cells with comprehensive tools for Mad7 genome editing

Johan Blatt Rojek, Yogesh Basavaraju, Saranya Nallapareddy, Dubhe Beatriz Bulté Ocaña, Roland Baumgartner, Sanne Schoffelen, Lise Marie Grav, Steffen Goletz, Lasse Ebdrup Pedersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The production of high-value biopharmaceuticals is dominated by mammalian production cells, particularly Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells, which have been widely used and preferred in manufacturing processes. The discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 significantly accelerated cell line engineering advances, allowing for production yield and quality improvements. Since then, several other CRISPR systems have become appealing genome editing tools, such as the Cas12a nucleases, which provide broad editing capabilities while utilizing short guide RNAs (gRNAs) that reduce the complexity of the editing systems. One of these is the Mad7 nuclease, which has been shown to efficiently convey targeted gene disruption and insertions in several different organisms. In this study, we demonstrate that Mad7 can generate indels for gene knockout of host cell proteins in CHO cells. We found that the efficiency of Mad7 depends on the addition of protein nuclear localization signals and the gRNAs employed for genome targeting. Moreover, we provide computational tools to design Mad7 gRNAs against any genome of choice and for automated indel detection analysis from next-generation sequencing data. In summary, this paper establishes the application of Mad7 in CHO cells, thereby improving the CRISPR toolbox versatility for research and cell line engineering.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1478-1491
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells
  • Mad7
  • ErCas12a
  • Genome editing
  • Cell engineering


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