The requirement for Cas nucleases to recognize a specific PAM is a major restriction for genome editing. SpCas9 variants SpG and SpRY, recognizing NGN and NRN PAM, respectively, have contributed to increase the number of editable genomic sites in cell cultures and plants. However, their use has not been demonstrated in animals.
We have characterized and optimized the activity of SpG and SpRY in zebrafish and C. elegans . Delivered as mRNA-gRNA or ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes, SpG and SpRY were able to induce mutations in vivo , albeit at a lower rate than SpCas9 in equivalent formulations. This lower activity was overcome by optimizing mRNA-gRNA or RNP concentration, leading to efficient mutagenesis at regions inaccessible to SpCas9. We also found that the CRISPRscan algorithm can predict SpG and SpRY activity in vivo . Finally, we applied SpG and SpRY to generate knock-ins by homology-directed repair. Altogether, our results expand the CRISPR-Cas targeting genomic landscape in animals.