OUR APPROACH | ARCUS Genome Editing

What is ARCUS?


ARCUS is a next-generation genome editing platform derived from a natural genome editing enzyme called a homing endonuclease.

Homing endonucleases

Homing endonucleases are nature’s genome editing system. They are site-specific DNA-cutting enzymes encoded in the genomes of many eukaryotic species. Homing endonucleases have the unusual ability to precisely recognize long DNA sequences (12-40 base pairs) that are typically rare enough to occur only once in a complex genome. By targeting a double strand DNA break to a specific site in the genome of a cell, a homing endonuclease triggers the cell’s DNA repair pathways and stimulates homologous recombination. In nature, this results in gene conversion events in which the genome of the cell is modified in a very precise way, most frequently by the insertion of a foreign gene at the site of the DNA break. The ability to generate a single DNA break in a complex genome to achieve gene modification – without off-targeting – makes homing endonucleases the ideal starting material for a genome editing technology.

ARCUS

The backbone of the ARCUS technology is the ARC Nuclease – a fully synthetic enzyme that is very similar to a homing endonuclease but is modified to be a better starting point for the development of new gene editing reagents. ARC Nuclease shares many of the positive attributes of a homing endonuclease, such as small size and unparalleled sequence specificity, but it can more easily be evolved into a custom gene editing tool that recognizes a DNA sequence of our choosing. Each ARCUS reagent is optimized using a set of proprietary in silico and lab-based techniques to ensure maximum gene editing efficiency with minimum off-target activity.

What makes ARCUS unique in the world of genome editing?


Proprietary

Precision BioSciences owns ARCUS. Only a Precisioneer can make an ARCUS reagent.

Multi-functional

ARCUS isn’t limited to deletions. ARCUS can be used to insert, delete or edit DNA.

Specific

ARCUS doesn’t miss its target. ARCUS doesn’t generate truly random DNA-breaks.

Small

310 amino acids. 930 base pairs. ARCUS is compatible with essentially any delivery strategy.

One

Polypeptide. ARCUS is a single protein expressed from a single gene. There’s no need to deliver multiple parts.

Seamless

Matched 4 base pair 3′ overhangs result in perfect, predictable removal of DNA.