SWOffinder: Efficient and versatile search of CRISPR off-targets with bulges by Smith-Waterman alignment

Ofir Yaish, Amichai Malle, Eliav Cohen, Yaron Orenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

CRISPR/Cas9 technology is revolutionizing the field of gene editing. While this technology enables the targeting of any gene, it may also target unplanned loci, termed off-target sites (OTS), which are a few mismatches, insertions, and deletions from the target. While existing methods for finding OTS up to a given mismatch threshold are efficient, other methods considering insertions and deletions are limited by long runtimes, incomplete OTS lists, and partial support of versatile thresholds. Here, we developed SWOffinder, an efficient method based on Smith-Waterman alignment to find all OTS up to some edit distance. We implemented an original trace-back approach to find OTS under versatile criteria, such as separate limits on the number of insertions, deletions, and mismatches. Compared to state-of-the-art methods, only SWOffinder finds all OTS in the genome in just a few minutes. SWOffinder enables accurate and efficient genomic search of OTS, which will lead to safer gene editing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108557
JournaliScience
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Algorithms
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biological constraints
  • Techniques in genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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