CRISPR Cpf1 bound to Guide RNA and Target DNA

Model Description

This is a volumetric reconstruction of genome editing system, CRISPR Cpf1. It can be 3D printed in a variety of materials and sizes.

Protein Description

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats from Prevotella and Francisella CRISPR/Cpf1 is a DNA-editing technology analogous to the CRISPR Cas9 system, characterized in 2015 by Feng Zhang‘s group from the Broad Institute and MIT. Cpf1 is an RNA-guided endonuclease of a class II CRISPR/Cas system.


This acquired immune mechanism is found in Prevotella and Francisella bacteria. It prevents genetic damage from viruses. Cpf1 genes are associated with the CRISPR locus, coding for an endonuclease that use a guide RNA to find and cleave viral DNA. Cpf1 is a smaller and simpler endonuclease than Cas9, overcoming some of the CRISPR/Cas9 system limitations. CRISPR/Cpf1 could have multiple applications, including treatment of genetic illnesses and degenerative conditions.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRISPR/Cpf1

PubMed Abstract

Cpf1 is an RNA-guided endonuclease of a type V CRISPR-Cas system that has been recently harnessed for genome editing. Here, we report the crystal structure of Acidaminococcus sp. Cpf1 (AsCpf1) in complex with the guide RNA and its target DNA at 2.8 Å resolution. AsCpf1 adopts a bilobed architecture, with the RNA-DNA heteroduplex bound inside the central channel. The structural comparison of AsCpf1 with Cas9, a type II CRISPR-Cas nuclease, reveals both striking similarity and major differences, thereby explaining their distinct functionalities. AsCpf1 contains the RuvC domain and a putative novel nuclease domain, which are responsible for cleaving the non-target and target strands, respectively, and for jointly generating staggered DNA double-strand breaks. AsCpf1 recognizes the 5′-TTTN-3′ protospacer adjacent motif by base and shape readout mechanisms. Our findings provide mechanistic insights into RNA-guided DNA cleavage by Cpf1 and establish a framework for rational engineering of the CRISPR-Cpf1 toolbox. ” http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/explore.do?structureId=5B43

Purchase 3D Print

You can purchase a 3D print of CRISPR-Cpf1 on our shapeways.com website. The model can be printed in multiple sizes. Below is a preview of it printed in full-color sandstone. The blue portions of the model are Cpf1, red is the guide RNA, and the two strands of DNA are green and yellow.

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