CRISPR/Cas9 technology has evolved as the most powerful approach to generate genetic models both for fundamental and preclinical research. Despite its apparent simplicity, the outcome of a genome-editing experiment can be substantially impacted by technical parameters and biological considerations.
Here, we present guidelines and tools to optimize CRISPR/Cas9 genome-targeting efficiency and specificity. The nature of the target locus, the design of the single guide RNA and the choice of the delivery method should all be carefully considered prior to a genome-editing experiment. Different methods can also be used to detect off-target cleavages and decrease the risk of unwanted mutations. Together, these optimized tools and proper controls are essential to the assessment of CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing experiments.