Prokaryotic Argonaute proteins (pAgos) have been proposed as an alternative to the CRISPR/Cas9 platform for gene editing. Although Argonaute from Natronobacterium gregoryi (NgAgo) was recently shown unable to cleave genomic DNA in mammalian cells, the utility of NgAgo or other pAgos as a targetable DNA-binding platform for epigenetic editing has not been explored. In this report, we evaluated the utility of two prokaryotic Argonautes (NgAgo and TtAgo) as DNA-guided DNA-binding proteins. NgAgo showed no meaningful binding to chromosomal targets, while TtAgo displayed seemingly non-specific binding to chromosomal DNA even in the absence of guide DNA. The observed lack of DNA-guided targeting and unexpected guide-independent genome sampling under the conditions in this study provide evidence that these pAgos might be suitable for neither gene nor epigenome editing in mammalian cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)