AcrDB: a database of anti-CRISPR operons in prokaryotes and viruses

Le Huang, Bowen Yang, Haidong Yi, Amina Asif, Jiawei Wang, Trevor Lithgow, Han Zhang, Fayyaz Ul Amir Afsar Minhas, Yanbin Yin

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Abstract

CRISPR-Cas is an anti-viral mechanism of prokaryotes that has been widely adopted for genome editing. To make CRISPR-Cas genome editing more controllable and safer to use, anti-CRISPR proteins have been recently exploited to prevent excessive/prolonged Cas nuclease cleavage. Anti-CRISPR (Acr) proteins are encoded by (pro)phages/(pro)viruses, and have the ability to inhibit their host's CRISPR-Cas systems. We have built an online database AcrDB (http://bcb.unl.edu/AcrDB) by scanning ∼19 000 genomes of prokaryotes and viruses with AcrFinder, a recently developed Acr-Aca (Acr-associated regulator) operon prediction program. Proteins in Acr-Aca operons were further processed by two machine learning-based programs (AcRanker and PaCRISPR) to obtain numerical scores/ranks. Compared to other anti-CRISPR databases, AcrDB has the following unique features: (i) It is a genome-scale database with the largest collection of data (39 799 Acr-Aca operons containing Aca or Acr homologs); (ii) It offers a user-friendly web interface with various functions for browsing, graphically viewing, searching, and batch downloading Acr-Aca operons; (iii) It focuses on the genomic context of Acr and Aca candidates instead of individual Acr protein family and (iv) It collects data with three independent programs each having a unique data mining algorithm for cross validation. AcrDB will be a valuable resource to the anti-CRISPR research community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)D622-D629
Number of pages8
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume49
Issue numberD1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021

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