Nat. Med. 24 (7) 927-930 [2018-07-00; online 2018-06-11]
Here, we report that genome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 induces a p53-mediated DNA damage response and cell cycle arrest in immortalized human retinal pigment epithelial cells, leading to a selection against cells with a functional p53 pathway. Inhibition of p53 prevents the damage response and increases the rate of homologous recombination from a donor template. These results suggest that p53 inhibition may improve the efficiency of genome editing of untransformed cells and that p53 function should be monitored when developing cell-based therapies utilizing CRISPR-Cas9.