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ORANGE: A CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing toolbox for epitope tagging of endogenous proteins in neurons

By Jelmer Willems, Arthur P.H. de Jong, Nicky Scheefhals, Harold D. MacGillavry

Posted 19 Jul 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/700187 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000665)

The correct subcellular distribution of protein complexes establishes the complex morphology of neurons and is fundamental to their functioning. Thus, determining the dynamic distribution of proteins is essential to understand neuronal processes. Fluorescence imaging, in particular super-resolution microscopy, has become invaluable to investigate subcellular protein distribution. However, these approaches suffer from the limited ability to efficiently and reliably label endogenous proteins. We developed ORANGE: an Open Resource for the Application of Neuronal Genome Editing, that mediates targeted genomic integration of fluorescent tags in neurons. This toolbox includes a knock-in library for in-depth investigation of endogenous protein distribution, and a detailed protocol explaining how knock-in can be developed for novel targets. In combination with super-resolution microscopy, ORANGE revealed the dynamic nanoscale organization of endogenous neuronal signaling molecules, synaptic scaffolding proteins, and neurotransmitter receptors. Thus, ORANGE enables quantitation of expression and distribution for virtually any protein in neurons at high resolution and will significantly further our understanding of neuronal cell biology.

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