3199632 - EP16152731A1 - EPO
Application Jan 26, 2016 - Publication Aug 02, 2017
A method of producing a mutant host cell with altered expression of a gene of interest (GOI) by a temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system, which comprises:a) at a first working temperature, introducing into a host cell a CRISPR/Cas system employingi) an inactive pre-guide RNA (pre-gRNA) which is a ribozyme-extended guide RNA comprising a guide RNA (gRNA) that recognizes a predetermined target site at the GOI, terminally extended by at least one self-processing Hammerhead (HH) ribozyme characterized by the presence of a thermosensitive hairpin and a cleavage site adjacent to the gRNA; andii) a RNA-guided Cas endonuclease which recognizes the target site upon hybridizing with the gRNA;b) increasing the first working temperature to a second working temperature, thereby changing the structure of the thermosensitive hairpin and activating the pre-gRNA by self-catalyzed cleavage at the cleavage site to obtain the gRNA, which induces binding of the endonuclease to the target site, thereby altering expression of the GOI.
FIELD OF THE INVENTIONThe present application refers to a method using the CRISPR/Cas system in a temperature controllable manner, in particular a method of producing a mutant host cell with altered expression of a gene of interest (GOI) by a temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system, and a host cell transformed with the temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system.BACKGROUNDIn order to control cellular functions it is necessary to have suitable tools available which react on external stimuli or signals. Such signals can be of chemical origin like e.g. galactose, glucose, insulin or physical origin like light or temperature. The advantage of physical signals is that they can easily be turned on and off in a biological process, whereas this is more difficult for chemical signals e.g. to remove a chemical substance from a solution.One parameter which can conveniently be changed in a biological system is temperature. The suitable temperature range for biological systems is limited depending on the optimal growth temperature, which is for mesophilic organisms typically in the range between 20°C and 45°C. Temperature controllable elements are available for this narrow temperature range.A RNA thermometer called thermozyme which is based on a hammerhead ribozyme (HHR, or HH ribozyme) that cleaves itself to generate a liberated ribosome binding site, thereby permitting expression of a downstream gene, is described bySaragliadis et al. (RNA Biology 2013, 106: 1009-1016). A thermosensitive fourU hairpin was attached to the ribozyme in place of stem III of a parental HHR derived fromSchistosoma mansoni(SC-HHR), to modulate gene expression by temperature-controlled base pairing and melting.CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) is an efficient gene editing tool, which can be used in a plethora of different organisms to generate double -strand breaks subsequently introducing mutations at this locus in a targeted manner (Jinek M et al. 2012. Science 337: 816-21). Two main componentsare needed for the gene editing process: an endonuclease like Cas9 fromStreptococcus pyogenesand a guide RNA (gRNA), containing the target specific sequence. Other endonucleases like CPF1 is a Cas enzyme which can be used instead of Cas9 (System CC et al. 2015 Cell 163: 1-13.).The CRISPR/Cas technology has been used e.g. to engineer gene knockouts in mammalian cells (Ran F Ann et al. Nature Protocols 2013, 8(11):2281-2308).WO2015195621A1describes the HI promoter for use in the expression of a CRISPR guide RNA with altered specificity of the 5' nucleotide, as well as use of the HI promoter sequence as a bidirectional promoter to express Cas9 nuclease and the gRNA simultaneously. Compositions and methods are also described for the expression and regulation of gRNA expressionin vivothrough the use of RNA ribozymes and regulatable aptazymes. In particular an aptamer-regulated ribozyme is described which comprises a cis-acting hammerhead ribozyme comprising a ligand binding aptamer; and a nucleotide sequence encoding the guide RNA, wherein the 5' end of the nucleotide sequence isdirectly coupled to the hammerhead ribozyme, wherein binding of the ligand to the aptamer produces a conformational change in the ribozyme such that the ribozyme undergoes self-cleavage between the 5' end of the nucleotide sequence and the ribozyme, wherein the gRNA is released. One particular ligand inducing the conformational change is theophylline.WO2015153940A1describes an engineered construct comprising a promoter operably linked to a nucleic acid that comprises a guide RNA which may be flanked by nucleotide sequences encoding ribozymes, e.g. a hammerhead ribozyme or a Hepatitis delta virus ribozyme.One challenge to generate a functional system is to have a functional guide RNA, which has a defined 5' and 3' end. This problem was solved with the introduction of self-splicing ribozymes, which are fused to both ends of the DNA template to enable a self-splicing of the transcribed RNA. (Gao Y et al. 2014. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 56: 343-9). Any Polymerase II promoter can be used to transcribe this DNA to generate a fully functional guide RNA, which will be recognized by the Cas9 endonuclease.The creation of conditional gene deletions is challenging and is currently based on Cre/lox systems (Arakawa H et al. 2001. BMC Biotechnol. 1: 7). Such systems can be chemically induced by e.g. tetracycline.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTIONIt is the object of the present invention to provide for an improved method of producing a host cell line with mutations at a predefined locus using the CRISPR/Cas9 system in a controlled manner, in particular a method of producing an inducible mutation of interest (MOI).The object is solved by the subject matter as claimed.According to the invention, there is provided a method of producing a mutant host cell with altered expression of a gene of interest (GOI) by a temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system, which comprises:a) at a first working temperature, introducing into a host cell a CRISPR/Cas system employingi) an inactive pre-guide RNA (pre-gRNA) which is a ribozyme-extended guide RNA comprising a guide RNA (gRNA) that recognizes a predetermined target site at the GOI, terminally extended by at least one self-processing Hammerhead (HH) ribozyme characterized by the presence of a thermosensitive hairpin and a cleavage site adjacent to the gRNA; andii) a RNA-guided Cas endonuclease which recognizes the target site upon hybridizing with the gRNA;b) increasing the first working temperature to a second working temperature, thereby changing the structure of the thermosensitive hairpin and activating the pre-gRNA by self-catalyzed cleavage at the cleavage site to obtain the gRNA, which induces binding of the endonuclease to the target site, thereby altering expression of the GOI.As described herein, the gRNA is specifically hybridizing with the genomic target site under stringent conditions and consequently the Cas endonuclease recognizes the target site immediately inducing the DNA break and MOI. Therefore, the present invention in particular provides the temperature-induced gRNA which triggers the MOI at the target site, byin situactivating the respective pre-gRNA.Specifically, the DNA break is proximal to a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence. Specifically, the DNA break is a double strand break or a paired single strand break, proximal to a PAM, preferably 3 bp upstream of the PAM. Exemplary PAM sequences are selected from the group consisting of sequence: NGG, sequence: NGAN, sequence: NGNG, sequence: NGAG, sequence: NGCG or sequence: TTN,wherein N is any nucleotide (A, C, G, or U), or a complementary sequence of any of the foregoing. The paired single strand break is herein also referred to as a specific embodiment of a "double strand" break. The paired nicking (single strand break) is specifically proximal to two PAMs, one PAM for each single strand break.The complementary DNA sequences are typically recognized for the DNA break of the complementary strand. It is preferred that a suitable PAM sequence is selected which is recognized by the specific endonuclease and the specific CRISPR system.Specifically, the MOI results from a mutational pattern characteristic for a RNA-guided endonuclease that lies proximal to a PAM. Such mutation(s) are typically located within 20 bp upstream and downstream of the DNA break, specifically within 10bp or 15 bp upstream and downstream of the DNA break.Unless specified herein otherwise, the term "at" with respect to a genetic location, such as the location of a genetic target site, or the location of a MOI "at the GOI" or a MOI "at the genetic target site", shall always refer to a position within the genetic site or in close proximity to such genetic target site, meaning within about 20 bp, or 10 bp, or 5 bp upstream or downstream the genetic site.Specifically, the GOI is in close proximity to the target site. Specifically, the MOI is within or in close proximity to the GOI.According to a specific embodiment, the endonuclease catalyzes a DNA break at the target site (e.g., within the hybridizing region or in close proximity thereto) upon hybridizing with the gRNA and the GOI expression is altered by cellular repair mechanisms induced by a DNA break, thereby introducing a mutation of interest (MOI) at the GOI (e.g., within the GOI or within a regulatory element operably linked to the GOI and regulating the expression of the GOI), preferably a MOI comprising at least one frameshift mutation, insertion, substitution, and/or deletion of one or more nucleotides impairing the open reading frame (ORF) of the GOI. Specifically, the MOI includes one or more point mutations, or mutation of DNA elements or sequences that disrupt gene function or gene expression, e.g. an insertion of foreign DNA elements or sequences that are non-naturally present (knock-in) or a deletion of sequences that are naturally present (knock-out), e.g. deletions of entire genes, exons or regulatory elements.Specifically, in order to delete a genomic region that is naturally present, a double strand DNA break may be induced as described herein, employing two gRNA molecules hybridizing on both sides lateral to the genomic (chromosomal) region to beexcised, e.g. proximal or adjacent to the 5' and 3' end of the genomic region. Upon such DNA break the cellular repair would provide for the joining of the free ends, thereby excising the genomic region.Specifically, the endonuclease is an inactive Cas9 (dCas9 or endonuclease deficient Cas9) endonuclease which binds to the target site upon hybridizing with the gRNA, thereby repressing the GOI expression. An exemplary inactive, inhibitory Cas9 endonuclease is characterized by mutations in the RuvC and HNH-nuclease domain (e.g. point mutations D10A and H840A or R70A in SpCas9 Uniprot: Q99ZW2) SEQ ID 23.According to a further specific aspect, at least two different target sites are targeted by different crRNAs or gRNAs, employing the same or different functional pairs of tracrRNA and endonuclease or functional pairs of the constant part of gRNA and endonuclease.According to a specific aspect, at least a first and a second pre-gRNA are used recognizing at least a first and a different second target site at the GOI, wherein said at least first and second pre-gRNAs are activated by increasing the first working temperature to the second working temperature.Specifically, the one or more target sites are within or in close proximity to the same GOI.Specifically, the HH ribozyme has thermo-inducible nuclease activity, such that primary transcripts of the pre-gRNA undergo self-catalyzed cleavage to precisely release the gRNA. Specifically, the HH ribozyme is directly linked to the variable region of the gRNA recognizing the predetermined target site, without linking nucleobases. Thus, the use of additional transcription initiating nucleobases such as "G" or "A" at the 5'-terminus of the gRNA can be avoided.Specifically, the HH ribozyme comprises a 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence complementary to and hybridizing with the 5'-terminal part of the gRNA, e.g. forming a region of intrastrand pairing of at least 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 bp, thereby masking the variable region of the gRNA. Upon cleavage of the HH ribozyme, the 5'-terminal part of the gRNA is released, and capable of hybridizing to the genomic target site.Specifically, the hairpin consists of a nucleic acid region with intrastrand complementarity and pairing, which is herein referred to as "stem" region, preferably comprising 3-12 pairs of consecutive complementary bases in reverse sequence, , and a variable loop region of 4-10 nt length which is herein referred to as "loop" region, andwhich is located between the regions of internal complementarity. Specifically, a pair of complementary bases is any of a G-C or A-U base pair.According to a specific aspect, the HH ribozyme comprisesa) a HH ribozyme constant region;b) a variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of at least 3 nucleotides; andc) a complementary 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence hybridizing to the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence, thereby obtaining a thermosensitive stem I of at least 3 complementary bp.According to the invention, there is further provided a thermosensitive HH ribozyme, which comprises or consists ofa) a HH ribozyme constant region, preferably consisting of the nt sequence identified as SEQ ID 5; which is terminally extended byb) at least a variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of at least 3 nucleotides; andc) a complementary 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence hybridizing to the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence, thereby obtaining a thermosensitive stem I,wherein the stem I is characterized by at least any ofi. the hybridizing part of the variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of b) consists of at least 6 nucleotides and comprises at least four G or C residues;ii. the hybridizing part of the variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of b) comprises or consists of at least 6 nucleotides having the sequence NNNCUC, wherein N is any of A, G, C, or U; oriii. a length of at least 7 bp, or less than 6 bp.According to the invention, there is further provided a pre-gRNA, which comprises the thermosensitive HH ribozyme. Specifcally, the novel pre-gRNA comprisesa) a HH ribozyme constant region; which is terminally extended byb) at least a variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of at least 3 nucleotides; andc) a complementary 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence hybridizing to the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence, thereby obtaining a thermosensitive stem I,wherein the stem I is characterized by at least any ofi. the hybridizing part of the variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of b) consists of at least 6 nucleotides and comprises at least four G or C residues;ii. the hybridizing part of the variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of b) comprises or consists of at least 6 nucleotides having the sequence NNNCUC, wherein N is any of A, G, C, or U; oriii. a length of at least 7 bp, or less than 6 bp.Specifically, the thermosensitive stem I consists of the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence and the complementary 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence hybridizing to each other at the first working temperature, or under stringent conditions.Specifically, the thermosensitive stem is characterized by the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence and the complementary 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence hybridizing to each other at the first working temperature, and not hybridizing (herin also referred to as "melting") to each other at the second working temperature.Specifically, the stem I is longer than 6 bp, such that the melting temperature is at least 20°C.Specifically, the stem I hybridizing part consists of at least 7 bp, to increase thermostability, preferably at least 7 bp, or at least 8 bp, or at least 9 bp, or at least 10 bp, e.g. up to 12 bp or 11 bpSpecifically, the stem I hybridizing part consists of at least 3 bp up to 5 bp, to reduce thermostability, specifically up to 4 bp, or 3 bp.Specifically, the HH ribozyme constant region of component a) comprises or consists of the RNA identified by SEQ ID 5.Specifically, the complementary sequence of component c) comprises at least 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 nt which hybridize to the variable 3-terminal nucleotide sequence, thereby obtaining a stem I of at least 3 bp, or at least 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 bp.Specifically, the component b) comprises the hybridizing variable nucleotide sequence which is further 3'-terminally extended by a non-hybridizing variable sequence of one or more nucleotides, preferably at least 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17 nt.Specifically, the variable nucleotide sequence of component b) including the hybridizing and non-hybridizing part has a length of 15-25 nt, preferably at least 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20; and up to 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, or 20. Specifically, the variable nucleotide sequence of component b) has a length of 20 nt, which can be specifically designed as a nucleotide sequence complementary to the target site.Specifically, any of the variable sequences is characterized by a sequence of one or more consecutive nucleotides, wherein each of the nt is any of A, C, G, or U.Specifically, the complementary sequences of component b) and c) hybridize to each within the host cell, herein also referred to as"in vivostringent conditions".The pre-gRNA may comprise the HH ribozyme linked to one or both terminal positions of the gRNA. Specifically, the pre-gRNA comprising two HH ribozymes characterized by the gRNA flanked by two HH ribozymes, which may comprise the same or different hairpins. For example, the pre-gRNA may comprise a first HH ribozyme comprising a first thermosensitive hairpin structure which differs from the thermosensitive hairpin structure of a second HH ribozyme, e.g. wherein the difference is in the length of the region of intrastrand pairing. As a consequence, the first and second HH ribozymes are cleaved from the pre-gRNA at different working temperatures.Specifically, the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of the HH ribozyme forms the 5'-terminus of the gRNA upon cleaving the pre-gRNA; and the 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence of the HH ribozyme is hybridizing thereto.Specifically, the HH ribozyme constant region (herein also referred to as "backbone") comprises a nucleotide sequence identified as SEQ ID 5, preferably any of the nucleotide sequences identified as SEQ ID 1, SEQ ID 2, SEQ ID 4, or SEQ ID 5, or a functional variant of any of the foregoing with at least 70 % sequence identity, or at least 80%, or at least 90%, or at least 95% sequence identity.According to a specific aspect, the pre-gRNA comprises any of the nucleotide sequences identified as SEQ ID 6, SEQ ID 7, SEQ ID 8, or SEQ ID 9, or a functional variant of any of the foregoing with at least 70% sequence identity, or at least 80%, or at least 90%, or at least 95% sequence identity.In addition to the HH ribozyme terminus, the pre-gRNA may further comprise another defined ribozyme terminus opposite to the HH ribozyme terminus.Specifically, the pre-gRNA further comprises a hepatitis delta virus type (HDV) ribozyme as a further terminal extension of the gRNA sequence opposite to the extension by the HH ribozyme. Such pre-gRNA specifically comprises a first ribozyme terminus of a HH ribozyme, and a second ribozyme terminus of a HDV ribozyme, specifically wherein the first terminal part consists of the HH ribozyme, and the second terminal part consists of the HDV ribozyme.Specifically, the HDV ribozyme comprises the nucleotide sequence identified as SEQ ID 10, or a functional variant thereof with at least 70 % sequence identity, or at least 80%, or at least 90%, or at least 95% sequence identity.According to a specific embodiment, the first working temperature is any below 30 °C, and the second working temperature is any above 30°C.More specifically, the first working temperature is below 30 °C and at least 4°C, or at least 10°C, or at least 15°C or at least 20°C, or at least room temperature.More specifically, the second working temperature it above 30°C and less than 45°C, preferably less than 40°C, preferably less than 35°C.According to a specific aspect, the host cell is cultivated in a fed-batch culture, wherein the host cell is first cultivated at the first working temperature during the growth phase, followed by increasing the first working temperature to the second working temperature thereby activating the pre-gRNA and altering the expression of the GOI in the production phase.Specifically, the host cell is capable of cellular repair mechanism induced by DNA break, e.g. non-homologous end joining or homology-directed repair, or other mechanisms, such as including base-excision repair, mismatch repair or single strand annealing.Specifically, the host cell is any of a bacterial, filamentous fungi, yeast, mammalian, or avian host cell. Specifically preferred is any eukaryotic cell suitable for recombinant expression of a POI.More specifically, the bacterial host cell is of a genus selected from the group consisting of genus Escherichia (e.g.Escherichia coli),genusLactobacillus(e.g.Lactobacillus plantarum), Bacillus (e.g. Bacillus subtilis),preferably any of the speciesEscherichia coliMG1655,Escherichia coliCrooks,Escherichia coliW,Escherichia coliK12.More specifically, the filamentous fungi host cell is of a genus selected from the group consisting of genusAspergillus(e.g.Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus nidulans), Trichoderma(e.g.Trichoderma reesei),Neurospora (e.g.Neurospora crassa), Ustilago (Ustilago maydis), Fusarium (e.g. Fusarium graminearum),preferably any of the speciesAspergillus nigerATCC1015,Aspergillus niger CBS513.88,Trichoderma reeseiQM6a, Rut C-30.More specifically, the yeast host cell is of a genus selected from the group consisting of Saccharomyces (e.g.Saccharomyces cerevisiae),Candida(e.g. Candidaalbicans, Candida lignohabitans[syn.Sugiyamaella lignohabitans]),Yarrowia(e.g. Yarrowia lipolytica), Schizosaccharomyces (e.g. Schizosaccharomyces pombe),preferably any of the speciesPichia pastorisCBS 7435, DSMZ 70382, GS115, CBS 2612,Candida lignohabitansCBS 10342. Examples of preferred yeast cells used as host cells as described herein include but are not limited to, theSaccharomycesgenus (e.g.Saccharomyces cerevisiae), thePichiagenus (e.g.P. pastoris, or P. methanolica), theKomagataellagenus (K. pastoris, K. pseudopastorisorK. phaffii), theSugiyamaella genus(e.g. S.lignohabitans), Hansenula polymorpha, Yarrowia lipolytica, Schefferomyces stipitisorKluyveromyces lactis.More specifically, the mammalian host cell is any of the species human, monkey, hamster, mouse, or swine. Examples of preferred mammalian cells are BHK, CHO (CHO-DG44, CHO-DUXB11, CHO-DUKX, CHO-K1, CHOK1 SV, CHO-S), HeLa, HEK293, MDCK, NIH3T3, NS0, PER.C6, SP2/0 and VERO cells.More specifically, the avian host cell is any of the species chicken, or duck.Specifically, the host cell may be provided in anin vitroorex vivohost cell culture.According to a specific embodiment, the host cell may be provided in a transgenic animal, e.g. a mammalian animal, yet, excluding human beings.According to a specific aspect, the host cell is engineered to express the Cas9 endonuclease and/or the gRNA, or one or more components of the gRNA. Specifically, a host cell line is engineered to express both, the Cas9 enzyme and the gRNA, or at least one component of the gRNA.According to a specific embodiment, the CRISPR/Cas system is introduced into the host cell by one or more plasmids transforming the cell into a cell producing the pre-gRNA and the endonuclease. The plasmid may comprise a nucleic acid encoding the gRNA or one or more of its componets operably linked to regulatory elements, suitable for the expression of the gRNA or one or more of its components by the cells.The guide RNA may be provided as a binary complex of its components, the target specific crRNA (CRISPR RNA, specifically recognizing the target site) and the tracrRNA (trans-activating crRNA), and optional further linker sequences, each provided as separate components that associateex vivoor within a cell. Alternatively, tracrRNA and crRNA may also be provided as separate components. Preferably, the guide RNA is provided as a chimeric or recombination product which comprises the components tracrRNA and crRNA linked to each other, e.g. by a linkage where thecrRNA is linked to the 5' end of the tracrRNA directly, with or without a linker sequence. The crRNA typically comprises a constant part, which is the 3' part that provides for the association or linkage with the tracrRNA. The crRNA further comprises a variable part, designed to hybridize with a specific target site, which is typically incorporated in the 5' part or 5' end of the crRNA and gRNA, respectively.According to a specific aspect, a component consisting of the RNA-guided endonuclease in conjunction with the tracrRNA may be used. Such component is preferably used in combination with the target-specific RNA (crRNA).The gRNA and the RNA-guided endonuclease may be conveniently provided as a ternary complex of the endonuclease with the tracrRNA and the crRNA, each provided as separate components that associateex vivoor within a cell. Preferably, there is provided a binary complex of the endonuclease with the gRNA, each provided as separate components that associateex vivoor within a cell. In such complex with the endonuclease, the gRNA preferably comprises the tracrRNA and the crRNA linked to each other, thus is a chimeric RNA product.Preferably functional pairs of tracrRNA or gRNA paired with an RNA-guided endonuclease are used, e.g. a functional pair of the constant part of the gRNA and the endonuclease, specifically functional pairs in a complex or as separate components. Specifically, the functional pairs are of a suitable type II CRISPR systems, such as a CRISPR system of bacterial origin.Functional pairs of the tracrRNA or gRNA and the matching endonuclease are preferably used with one or more different crRNA components, e.g. with a series of crRNA oligonucleotides that target different genomic target sites.According to a specific aspect, the endonuclease is selected from the group consisting of Cas9 enzymes originating from any ofStreptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus thermophiles, Neisseria MeningitisorTreponema Denticola,or the Cpf1 enzyme originating fromAcidaminococcus sp.orLachnospiraceae bacterium,and functional variants of any of the foregoing, including Cas9 nickases or artificial enzymes.Preferred Cas9 enzymes comprise or consist of a polypeptide identified by any of SEQ ID 19, SEQ ID 20, SEQ ID 21, SEQ ID 22, or a functional variant thereof with at least 70% sequence identity, or at least 80%, or at least 90%, or at least 95% sequence identity.Functional variants of a parent Cas enzyme may e.g. be analogs, such as wild-type sequences obtained from other species, e.g. other bacterial species of the same genus or family as the parent endonuclease, or mutated wild-type sequences of analogs. When an analog of the endonuclease is used, specifically the analogous tracrRNA or gRNA sequence of the same species or the same family may be used to form a functional pair, e.g. which components are natively paired.According to a specific aspect, the GOI is selected from the group consisting of genes encoding regulatory proteins of the host cell, preferably metabolic enzymes, or proteins involved in cell cycle arrest, preferably any of the regulatory proteins listed in Table 1, or analogues thereof naturally-occurring in the host cell.The invention further provides for a method of producing a protein of interest (POI) in a host cell transformed with the temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system as described herein, wherein the host cell comprises a gene encoding the POI regulated by the GOI expression product, comprisinga) growing the host cell under growth conditions at the first working temperature thereby obtaining a cell culture;b) elevating said first working temperature in the cell culture to the second working temperature, thereby altering expression of the GOI and initiating the production of the POI; andc) isolating the POI from the cell culture.Specifically, the POI is a heterologous protein, preferably selected from therapeutic proteins, including antibodies or fragments thereof, enzymes and peptides, protein antibiotics, toxin fusion proteins, carbohydrate - protein conjugates, structural proteins, regulatory proteins, vaccines and vaccine like proteins or particles, process enzymes, growth factors, hormones and cytokines, or a metabolite of a POI.Preferably a genetically stable host cell is used, which comprises the same type of MOI or the stable phenotype characterized by the altered expression of the GOI over at least 10 generations, or at least 20 generations.Specifically, the host cell is provided in a stable host cell culture.The invention further provides for a host cell transformed with the temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system as described herein, wherein the host cell comprises a gene encoding a heterologous POI regulated by the GOI expression product.FIGURESFigure 1: SequenceinformationSEQ ID 1: RNA Sequence of the HH ribozyme constant region "backbone"SEQ ID 2: RNA Sequence of an alternative HH ribozyme constant region "backbone")SEQ ID 3: RNA Sequence of an alternative HH ribozyme constant region "backbone")SEQ ID 4: RNA Sequence of an alternative HH ribozyme constant region "backbone")SEQ ID 5: RNA Sequence of the HH ribozyme constant region "backbone"SEQ ID 6: RNA Sequence of a thermosensitive pre-gRNA, with a HH fused to the gRNA targeting TSSEQ ID 7: RNA Sequence of the general structure of a thermosensitive pre-gRNA, with a HH fused to the gRNASEQ ID 8: RNA Sequence of the general structure of a thermosensitive pre-gRNA, with a HH fused to the gRNASEQ ID 9: RNA Sequence of the general structure of a thermosensitive pre-gRNA, with a HH fused to the gRNA, which has a modified stem loop III.SEQ ID 10: RNA Sequence of the HDV ribozymeSEQ ID 11: DNA Sequence of the target sequence (TS) in the agdA gene 214233 (JGI assembly v 3.0 (June 30, 2008)) with PAMSEQ ID 12: DNA Sequence of the core HH ribozymeSEQ ID 13: DNA Sequence of primer check_fw for amplification of the agdA TS locusSEQ ID 14: DNA Sequence of primer check_rev for amplification of the agdA TS locusSEQ ID 15: DNA Sequence of the target sequence (TS) in the agdA gene 214233 (JGI assembly v 3.0 (June 30, 2008)) without PAMSEQ ID 16: DNA sequence, coding sequence of the Cas9 protein containing an c-terminal SV40 nuclear localization sequenceSEQ ID 17: DNA sequence of the circular plasmid MST623 containing an expression cassette for the thermosensitive gRNA and a constitutive Cas9 expression in filamentous fungiSEQ ID 18: RNA sequence of a temperature sensitive gRNA, which is inactive at temperatures below 30°C, targeting the gene kynurenine hydroxylase-white (khw) ofAnopheles stephensiSEQ ID 19: Protein sequence, CRISPR-associated endonuclease Cas9 /Csn1,Streptococcus pyogenes serotype M1;UniProt: Q99ZW2SEQ ID 20: Protein sequence, RISPR-associated endonuclease Cpf1,Acidaminococcus sp. (strain BV3L6),SEQ ID 21: Protein sequence, CRISPR-associated endonuclease Cas9, Campylobacter jejuni subsp. jejuni serotype O:2 (strain NCTC 11168); UniProt: QOP897SEQ ID 22: Protein sequence, CRISPR-associated endonuclease Cas9,Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida (strain U112);UniProt: AOQ5Y3SEQ ID 23: Protein sequence, CRISPR-associated nuclease deficient endonuclease Cas9, GenBank: AKA60242.1SEQ ID 24: RNA Sequence of a thermosensitive pre-gRNA, with a HH fused to the gRNA targeting TS and a HDV ribozyme fused to the 3'end. A graphical representation of the sequence is shown inFig. 2in the upper part.SEQ ID 25: RNA Sequence of a thermosensitive gRNA, which released the 5' HH ribozyme with a HDV ribozyme still fused to the 3'end. A graphical representation of the sequence is shown inFig. 2in the lower part.Figure 2:Structure of the pre-guideRNA and temperature activation mechanism to form the active gRNA which can be recognized by Cas9The sequence of the upper part is identified as SEQ ID 24.The sequence of the lower part is identified as SEQ ID 25.DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTIONSpecific terms as used throughout the specification have the following meaning.The term "cell line" as used herein refers to an established clone of a particular cell type that has acquired the ability to proliferate over a prolonged period of time. The term "host cell line" refers to a cell line as used for expressing an endogenous or recombinant gene or products of a metabolic pathway to produce polypeptides or cell metabolites mediated by such polypeptides. A "production host cell line" or "production cell line" is commonly understood to be a cell line ready-to-use for cultivation in abioreactor to obtain the product of a production process, such as a POI. The term "eukaryotic host" or "eukaryotic cell line" shall mean any eukaryotic cell or organism, which may be cultivated to produce a POI or a host cell metabolite.It is well understood that the eukaryotic cell lines as specifically described herein are somatic cell lines, thus, the scope of the present invention does not encompass human beings or techniques directly related to human germline manipulation or human cloning.Isolated clones or elements of the CRISPR/Cas system used in the host cells are artificial products, "man-made" or synthetic products. In particular, such clones or elements are not naturally-occurring, and are therefore not considered as a result of "law of nature". The mutant host cell as described herein is specifically understood as an artificial cell, which is non-naturally occurring, thus, is differentiated from a wild-type host cell.The host cell engineered as described herein, thereby obtaining the mutant host cell, specifically is provided as a host cell line, and preferably as a production host cell line, which further comprises a gene encoding a POI, in particular a heterologous POI, and the respective expression system for POI production. Specifically, the cell line is a eukaryotic host cell line.Yet, certain embodiments refer to a host cell in a transgenic animal, and host cells as used for transgenic animal production, in particular transgenic mammals, however, excluding human beings.Whereas the host cell as described herein is specifically characterized by an expression system expressing the GOI, the mutant host cell produced by the method as described herein is specifically characterized by an altered expression system and the altered expression of the GOI, thereby regulating the expression of a gene encoding a POI, and the POI production. Specifically, the mutant host cell is characterized by an altered GOI expression system that is not natively associated with the coding sequence of the POI.Mutant cell lines may be recombinant cell lines employing recombination means and methods to obtain a recombinant DNA, thus obtained by recombinantly engineering the cell genome. Such recombinant engineering typically employs artificial constructs like plasmids or oligonucleotides or RNA/ DNA or respective fragments, as tools to produce a recombined DNA. Specific mutants may be obtained by mutating a (chromosomal) region, thereby obtaining a genomic mutation at a specific locus of thechromosome. A mutant recombinant DNA may specifically be produced by either random or targeted recombination. Exemplary mutated cells comprise at least one genetic element exogenous to the cell that is integrated into the cell genome. In some aspects, the exogenous genetic element can be integrated at arandom location in the cell genome. In other aspects, the genetic element is integrated at a specific site in the genome. For example, the genetic element may be integrated at a specific position such as to provide a change relative to the endogenous sequence.Specific exemplary mutated production cells as described herein comprise MOI to change the expression of a GOI in support of a POI production. It is understood that mutant cell lines may be provided as a product ready-to-use for cultivation, e.g. for research, industrial or analytical use.The term "cell culture" or "cultivation", also termed "fermentation", with respect to a host cell line is meant the maintenance of cells in an artificial, e.g., anin vitroenvironment, under conditions favoring growth, differentiation or continued viability, in an active or quiescent state, of the cells, specifically in a controlled bioreactor according to methods known in the industry.When cultivating a cell culture, the cell culture is brought into contact with suitable cell culture media in a culture vessel or with substrate under conditions suitable to support cultivation of the cell culture. Cell culture media provide the nutrients necessary to maintain and grow cells in a controlled, artificial andin vitroenvironment. Characteristics and compositions of the cell culture media vary depending on the particular cellular requirements. Important parameters include osmolality, pH, and nutrient formulations. Feeding of nutrients may be done in a continuous or discontinuous mode according to methods known in the art.Whereas a batch process is a cultivation mode in which all the nutrients necessary for cultivation of the cells are contained in the initial culture medium, without additional supply of further nutrients during fermentation, in a fed-batch process, after a batch phase, a feeding phase takes place in which one or more nutrients are supplied to the culture by feeding. The purpose of nutrient feeding is to increase the amount of biomass in order to increase the amount of recombinant protein as well.In certain embodiments, the method as described herein is employed in a fed-batch process. Specifically, the host cell culture is first cultured at the first working temperature in a growth phase medium and transitioned to a production phasemedium applying the second working temperature in order to produce a desired recombinant POI.In another embodiment, host cells are first processed by the method steps a) and b), thereby obtaining the engineered host cell ready for POI production, followed by cultivation in batch, fed-batch, or continuous mode, e.g. a chemostat. A continuous fermentation process is characterized by a defined, constant and continuous rate of feeding of fresh culture medium into the bioreactor, whereby culture broth is at the same time removed from the bioreactor at the same defined, constant and continuous removal rate. By keeping culture medium, feeding rate and removal rate at the same constant level, the cultivation parameters and conditions in the bioreactor remain constant.The suitable cultivation techniques may encompass cultivation in a bioreactor starting with a batch phase, followed by a short exponential fed batch phase at high specific growth rate, further followed by a fed batch phase at a low specific growth rate. Another suitable cultivation technique may encompass a batch phase followed by a continuous cultivation phase at a low dilution rate.A preferred embodiment includes a batch culture to provide biomass followed by a fed-batch culture for high yields POI production.It is preferred to cultivate the host cell line as described herein in a bioreactor under growth conditions to obtain a cell density of at least 1 g/L cell dry weight, more preferably at least 10 g/L cell dry weight, preferably at least 20 g/L cell dry weight. It is advantageous to provide for such yields of biomass production on a pilot or industrial scale.The POI production method as described herein specifically allows for the fermentation process on a pilot or industrial scale. The industrial process scale would preferably employ volumina of at least 10 L, specifically at least 50 L, preferably at least 1 m3, preferably at least 10 m3, most preferably at least 100 m3.Production conditions in industrial scale are preferred, which refer to e.g. fed batch cultivation in reactor volumes of 100 L to 10 m3or larger, employing typical process times of several days, or continuous processes in fermenter volumes of approximately 50 - 1000 L or larger, with dilution rates of approximately 0.02 - 0.15 h-1A stable cell culture is specifically understood to refer to a cell culture maintaining the genetic properties, specifically keeping the POI production level high,e.g. at least at a µg level, even after about 20 generations of cultivation, preferably at least 30 generations, more preferably at least 40 generations, most preferred of at least 50 generations. Specifically, a stable recombinant host cell line is provided which is considered a great advantage when used for industrial scale production.The cell culture as described herein is particularly advantageous for methods on an industrial manufacturing scale, e.g. with respect to both the volume and the technical system, in combination with a cultivation mode that is based on feeding of nutrients, in particular a fed-batch or batch process, or a continuous or semi-continuous process (e.g. chemostat).The term "expression" or "expression system" or "expression cassette" refers to nucleic acid molecules containing a desired coding sequence and control sequences in operable linkage, so that hosts transformed or transfected with these sequences are capable of producing the encoded proteins or host cell metabolites. Expression may be transient or may be stable. In order to effect transformation, the expression system may be included in a vector; however, the relevant DNA may also be integrated into the host chromosome. Expression may refer to secreted or non-secreted expression products, including polypeptides or metabolites."Expression constructs" or "vectors" used herein are defined as DNA sequences that are required for the transcription of cloned recombinant nucleotide sequences, i.e. of recombinant genes and the translation of their mRNA in a suitable host organism. A vector as used herein specifically includes autonomously replicating nucleotide sequences as well as genome integrating nucleotide sequences.Expression vectors, herein also referred to as "plasmids" usually comprise an origin for autonomous replication in the host cells, selectable markers (e.g. an amino acid synthesis gene or a gene conferring resistance to antibiotics such as zeocin, kanamycin, G418 or hygromycin), a number of restriction enzyme cleavage sites, a suitable promoter sequence and a transcription terminator, which components are operably linked together. The promoter for controlling transcription can be any promoter for any RNA polymerase. If transcription occursex vivo,one typically uses bacteriophage-derived T7, T3, and SP6 RNA polymerases in conjunction with their cognate promoters. A DNA template for transcription may be obtained by cloning a nucleic acid and introducing it into an appropriate vector for transcription. The DNA may be obtained by reverse transcription of RNA.As described herein, the RNA specifically used in the RNA-guided system may be provided byin vitrotranscription wherein RNA isin vitrosynthesized in a cell-free system, preferably using appropriate cell extracts or chemical synthesis, or byin vivotranscription wherein RNA isin vivosynthesized in a cell-based system. Preferably, an expression plasmid is applied for the generation of transcripts obtained by transcription of an appropriate DNA template, which plasmids are herein specifically understood as cloning vectors. Specifically an expression plasmid employed for the purpose of the invention may be used for expression of the pre-gRNA, or any of its components which assemble to produce the pre-gRNA in the host cell; in particular for the expression of the gRNA, or any of the tracrRNA and the crRNA components of a gRNA. Specifically, the respective nucleotide sequences may be provided by one or more expression plasmids which are co-transfected.RNA expression systems commonly used for delivery of RNA molecules to the cell may be employed. According to a specific embodiment, the endonuclease is co-expressed together with a tracrRNA and/or crRNA and/or gRNA designed to target a specific coding or non-coding sequence, e.g. an endogenous host cell gene to impair or knock out the function of a gene encloding the POI. A suitable DNA may be used in an expression construct to express the tracrRNA and/or crRNA and/or gRNA or the functional pair of the tracrRNA or gRNA or the constant part of the gRNA and the RNA-guided endonuclease. Therefore, there is further provided such DNA which is a template DNA, e.g. comprising the sequence encoding the tracrRNA and/or crRNA and/or gRNA and/or the constant part of the gRNA, and optionally a DNA encoding the RNA-guided endonuclease, specifically operably linked to regulatory sequences to express such moleculesin vivoorin vitro.The RNA(s) may be synthesized ex vivo, e.g. in vitro transcribed RNA or synthetic RNA, and delivered to, e.g. (co-)transfected into, a cell by suitable means.Transfection of RNA or the DNA encoding such RNA may be accomplished by a variety of means known to the art including, e.g., electroporation, microinjection, liposome fusion, lipofection.According to a specific aspect, transformed or transfected cells transiently express the inserted DNA or RNA for limited periods of time. For instance, the foreign DNA or RNA persists in the nucleus of the cell for several days. Transfection may as well be stable to produce a stable transfectant, e.g. introducing and optionally integrating foreign DNA or RNA into the transfected cell. Likewise, the endonucleasemay be produced by a cell transformed by a DNA encoding the endonuclease, in particular a codon-optimized DNA, or produced separate from the cell, and delivered to the cell by suitable means, including electroporation.The term "RNA" as used herein encompasses double-stranded RNA, single-stranded RNA, isolated RNA such as partially or completely purified RNA, essentially pure RNA, synthetic RNA, and recombinantly generated RNA, such as modified RNA which is functionally the same or similar, but differs from naturally-occurring RNA by addition, deletion, substitution and/or alteration of one or more nucleotides. Such alterations can include addition of non-nucleotide material, such as to the end(s) of a RNA or internally, for example at one or more nucleotides of the RNA. Nucleotides in RNA molecules can also comprise non-standard nucleotides, such as non-naturally occurring nucleotides or chemically synthesized nucleotides or deoxynucleotides. These altered RNAs can be referred to as analogs or analogs of naturally-occurring RNA.The terms "gRNA", "pre-gRNA", "tracrRNA", and "crRNA" are understood in the following way.A guide RNA (gRNA, also termed chimeric guide RNA) is a chimeric RNA molecule comprising the tracrRNA, which - together with the constant part of the crRNA - specifically determines the structure of the gRNA necessary to provide a co-substrate to a matching RNA-guided endonuclease, also termed chimeric guide RNA scaffold, which is understood as a constant RNA sequence forming a functional pair with an endonuclease guided by the gRNA. The crRNA comprises a constant part capable of interacting with or linking to the tracrRNA, and a variable part (also termed oligo RNA) which is composed of a short oligonucleotide sequence which is complementary to a DNA target site in the human genome. The constant part of the crRNA is typically located at the 3' part of the molecule, whereas the variable part is typically located at the 5' end of the molecule. The tracrRNA and the crRNA may directly associate though hybridizing parts, or joined with a linker sequence.gRNA forms a co-substrate to direct RNA-guided endonuclease activity to the genomic target site where the gRNA (through its crRNA component) hybridizes with the target. Thus, the crRNA is understood as containing the part encoding the genome editing information in the form of complementary sequences (allowing GU as well as GC base pairs), and the RNA-guided DNA endonuclease is understood as a nuclease cleaving target DNA at a specific site. For example, a Cas endonuclease mayassemble with the chimeric gRNA in a host cell and can induce the formation of a DNA breaks, e.g. a double strand DNA break at a site complementary to the gRNA sequence in genomic DNA. This cleavage activity requires both Cas9 and the complementary binding of the guide RNA through the variable crRNA part.The term "cellular repair mechanism" as used herein is specifically understood as mechanisms to detect and repair the various types of damage that can occur to DNA. A specific DNA damage is single-strand or double-strand breaks, which may be highly deleterious possibly leading to loss or rearrangement of genomic sequences. Double-strand breaks are repaired through non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR). In NHEJ, additional errors can be introduced during this process leading to specific mutations proximal to the DNA break. Therefore, NHEJ is considered inherently mutagenic as it relies on chance pairings, called microhomologies, between the single-stranded tails of the two DNA fragments to be joined. HR is a repair process that uses a DNA template for correction. It is more precise than NHEJ, yet less efficient. If a suitable exogenous DNA template is provided to the cells, HR offers the possibility to engineer mutations in specific genes of interest.Therefore the gRNA as described herein is typically a non-coding RNA, specifically hybridizing with a DNA target site and directing the RNA-guided endonuclease to the DNA target site, to induce a DNA break within the region of hybridization. This system provides for invaluable tools for host cell genome engineering at the cellular level by a CRISPR/Cas system to achieve RNA-guided genome engineering in the cells.The present description refers to the pre-gRNA, which is an inactive co-substrate of the Cas9 endonuclease. Such pre-gRNA can be activated by cleavage at a predetermined cleavage site to produce the gRNA within a host cell.The pre-gRNA as described herein is specifically characterized by containing one or more additional ribosomal components which mask the crRNA sequence such that is not hybridizing to the target site, or which otherwise prohibit the co-substrate activity thereby rendering the Cas9 endonuclease inactive. As additional ribosomal element the HH ribozyme is particularly used. Specific embodiments of a pre-gRNA comprise the gRNA flanked by the nucleotide sequence encoding the ribozyme on one end, preferably on the 5'end, or on both sides, as an extension of the gRNA sequence. In certain embodiments, a HH ribozyme is at the 5' end of the gRNA. In certain embodiments, a HH ribozyme is at the 3' end of the gRNA. In certain embodiments, aHDV ribozyme is at the 5' end of gRNA. In some embodiments, a HDV ribozyme is at the 3' end of the gRNA. In a certain embodiment, a HH ribozyme is at the 5' end and a HDV ribozyme is at the 3' end of gRNA.A specific embodiment refers to the HH ribozyme directly linked to the crRNA component of the gRNA, which produces the gRNA with well-defined ends upon cleavage. No additional nucleotide which would extend the crgRNA upon, e.g. no additional guanosine nucleotide upstream the genomic targeting site, is needed. In a specific example, the HH ribozyme is linked to the gRNA as a 5-terminal part of the pre-gRNA, by fusing a short (e.g. 3-10 nt) reverse complementary sequence to the 5' end of the HH ribozyme, which hybridizes to the 5' end of the gRNA, which is part of the variable region of the crRNA adjacent to the 3' end of the HH ribozyme.Any of the ribozymes as used in the pre-gRNA specifically comprises a ribonuclease recognition site, to support the cleavage between the gRNA and the rest of the ribozyme, thereby releasing the active gRNA. Thus, the pre-gRNA specifically comprises the gRNA which is flanked by one or two ribonuclease recognition sites of a ribozyme, on one or on both ends. A genetic element is said to be "flanked" by another genetic element when located immediately adjacent to each other.The HH ribozyme is specifically understood as follows.The HH ribozyme is a small naturally-occurring ribozyme, i.e. a catalytic RNA motif or molecule capable of endonucleolytic (self-) cleavage (Long and Uhlenbeck (1993) Faseb J. 7: 25-30. It is composed of a highly conserved catalytic core of eleven nucleotides (nts), which are flanked by three helices which are base-paired stems, called stem I, stem II and stem III, surrounding the conserved core of nucleotides, loop regions are found adjacent to the stem region. In HH ribozymes of type I the loop region adjacent to stem I is open, whereas theloop regions of stem II and stem III are forming closed loops (hairpin loops). The loop region of stem I and II form essential tertiary interactions for fast self-scission under physiological conditions. It belongs to the family of small endonucleolytic ribozymes that have sizes in the range of from 50 to 150 nucleotides (nt). Other members of this family are hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozymes, the Varkud satellite (VS), and the hairpin ribozymes. An exemplary structure or sequence of a HH ribozyme without the open stem I (i.e. backbone) can be found in SEQ ID 5.The HH ribozyme catalyzes the scission of its own phosphodiester backbone by means of a transesterification reaction that proceeds under inversion of the configuration.HH ribozymes as used herein can be naturally-occurring, e.g. obtained from any of the following species:Schistosoma mansoni, Selaginella moellendorfii, Desulfotomaculum reducens, Nemastostella vectensis, Xenopus tropicalis.Further examples can be found in the following publicationHammann, C., et al. 2012. Rna 18, 871-885. Alternatively, artificial functional variants of any wild-type ribozyme may be used. Exemplary variants may specifically differ in any of the hairpin stem or loop sequence, or length. Specifically, any of the stems may be extended or truncated to obtain a varying hairpin length and thermostability.Specifically, the hairpin stem I can be extended to increase the second working temperature. Therefore, the hairpin stem I may consist of at least 7 bp, or at least 8 bp, or at least 9 bp, or at least 10 bp, e.g. up to 12 bp or 11 bp.Specifically, the hairpin stem I can be truncated to lower the second working temperature. Therefore, the hairpin stem I may consist of at least 3 bp and up to 5 bp, or up to 4 bp, or 3 bp.Exemplary HH ribozyme sequences are provided inFigure 2.The HH hairpin as described herein specifically comprises a "hairpin stem" part which is a structured section of the RNA with intrastrand pairing, i.e. two stem areas of the RNA sequence that have internal complementarity which results in it folding into a hairpin. The region between the two stem areas is forming a loop, herein also referred to as "hairpin loop". A thermosensitive RNA hairpin as used for the purpose of the invention as an internal structure element of the HH ribozyme is herein also referred to as HH hairpin. Such HH hairpin is specifically engineered as a thermosensitive element, which has the hairpin structure at a first working temperature, and which diverges (by splitting the paired stem areas) to obtain the linear conformational structure at the elevated (second) working temperature. By such change of the hairpin structure the HH ribozyme is activated with the consequence of self-cleaving at the cleavage site adjacent to the gRNA of the pre-gRNA, thereby re-establishing the crRNA sequence which is complementary to the genomic target site and recognizes such target site within the host cell genome.Any of the naturally occurring HH ribozymes can be used as a parent HH ribozyme to engineer and produce a mutated HH ribozyme which is characterized byone or more stems of different composition or length. Such modifications provide for a change of thermosensitivity, because it takes higher or lower energy to induce the conformational change of the HH hairpin. Specifically, the stem I and/or the stem III regions of a HH ribozyme as used herein may be modified. Specific ways to modify the HH hairpin are described in the examples section herein.Specifically, a stem region of the hammerhead ribozyme can be modified by the selectionof a TS, which contains:a) More or equal than 4 G or C residues in first 6 bp of the 20bp sequenceb) Or by an elongation of the stem I region (>6bp) so that the melting temperature >= 20°Cc) The sequence of the gRNA starts with NNNCUC, wherein N is any of A, G, C, or U.The melting temperature (Tm) of the stem I is thus calculated by assigning 2°C to each A-U pair and 4°C to each G-C pair and forming the sum out of each residue, which contributes to the stem.Equation: Calculation melting temperatureTm°C=4°C*#GC+2°C*#AU#(GC) number of GC pairs in sequence#(AU) number of AU pairs in sequenceTherefore, the hairpin structure specifically determines the thermosensitive characteristics of the HH ribozyme. Such pre-gRNA as described herein can be used in a CRISPR/Cas system as a thermo-inducible element of protein production. The thermoinduction of gRNA release and activity typically is not reversible. Upon activating the pre-gRNA at the second working temperature, the host cell can be cultivated at a third working temperature, which is independent on any prior working temperature, thus, which may be different from any of the first or second temperatures.Certain pre-gRNA further comprise a HDV ribozyme which is characterized bya intricate nested double pseudoknot structure consisting of five paired helical segments, P1, P2, P3, P4, and P1.1 (Ferre-D'Amare, Nature, 395 (1998), pp. 567-574).Exemplary HDV ribozyme sequences are provided inFigure 1.The CRISPR/Cas system typically comprises a set of matching RNA-guided endonuclease and tracrRNA or gRNA or constant part of gRNA, which is herein understood as a functional pair, which may be used with one or more variable parts, i.e. with one or more crRNA or crRNA variable parts, e.g. a 20b, 22b, 24b or 26b RNA-typeoligonucleotide, to target one or more predetermined, random or different genomic target sites of the host cell. For example, a set of Cas endonuclease, e.g. type II, and a matching tracrRNA is used for interference of the crRNA (the oligonucleotide conjugated to the 5' end of the tracrRNA, e.g. employing a linker) with the target nucleic acid sequence through its variable crRNA oligo sequence. Specifically, the Type-II Cas9 protein is used, which is targeted to DNA. Targeting occurs upon hybridization of the crRNA to the complementary target site.Exemplary sequences of pre-gRNA and Cas endonucleases are shown inFigure 1. Functional variants of the endonuclease, tracrRNA or the gRNA are feasible. In particular, gRNA variants may comprise a variable 3' end, e.g. within the region of the 20, or 15, or 10, or 6 terminal bases, such as a truncation, elongation and/or one or more point mutations of any of the bases in the 3' terminal RNA sequence.Functional variants of the RNA-guided endonuclease or Cas endonuclease are specifically those of the same type or subtype asobtained from bacterial sources or derived from the amino acid sequences of bacterial origin, including artificial or recombinant enzymes comprising the same or mutated sequences, e.g. comprising one or more mutations and a specific sequence identity to the wild-type sequence. Specifically, the variants are considered functional if the Cas endonuclease is transcriptionally active. Specific functional variants of the Cas endonuclease comprise a codon-optimized sequence, for improved expression in a host cell. Further specific functional variants are Cas endonucleases which have "nickase" activity. Specific Cas9 nickases are derived from the Cas9 of S.pyogenesand comprise an amino acid mutation at position D10A or H840A resulting in the inactivation of the catalytic activity of one nuclease domain and converting Cas9 to a "nickase" enzyme that makes single-stranded breaks at the target site. A mutation in RuvC-like (RuvCl) domain or in the HNH domain of the S.pyogenesCas9 (D10A or H840A)) renders it to a nickase, which only can cleave a single strand of the DNA.Examples of wild-type (wt) enzymes are those obtained from bacterial sources. Such wt enzymes may serve as parent sequence to obtain analogs from other species e.g. other bacterial species of the same genus or family as the parent endonuclease, or mutated wt sequences comprising one or more point mutations, such as to obtain functional variants comprising mutations that do not interfere and even improve the endonuclease activity.As a co-substrate to the Cas endonuclease, the pre-gRNA comprising the wt tracrRNA or gRNA, in particular the constant part of the gRNA or tracrRNA may be used. Alternatively, functional variants of the tracrRNA or gRNA (in particular the constant part of gRNA) may be used, e.g. which are obtained by mutagenesis of the wt sequences used as parent sequences.The functionally active variant of an RNA, such as a gRNA or a component of gRNA, e.g. the tracrRNA as described herein, is specifically understood to encompass a nucleotide sequence which forms a functional co-substrate to the matching RNA-guided endonuclease, and/ or any of the functionally active variants, including truncated versions or fragments, mutants or hybrid nucleic acid sequences of a wild-type RNA. Functional variants of the RNA molecules as described herein may e.g. be obtained by one or more mutations in the nucleotide sequence of a parent (wild-type) RNA, wherein the mutated RNA is still functional and hybridizes under stringent conditions to a strand complementary to the parent RNA.It is understood that the term "constant" with respect to a RNA sequence or a part of an RNA sequence, as used herein shall refer to the sequence of the RNA which is determined by the sequence of bacterial origin of a specific species, independent on the variability of the oligonucleotide (being part of the crRNA) which hybridizes with a target DNA. Such constant RNA molecule or part of a gRNA is typically of the same or similar structure for all cells of a specific species, and provides for interaction with the RNA-guided endonuclease of the same species thereby forming a functional pair, independent on type or origin of the genomic target site. It is well understood that such constant molecules or parts of the molecules may still vary from species to species, or be used as a parent molecule to produce mutants, which may be used as functional variants.The "variable" part of the gRNA or the crRNA as described herein is understood as the part that hybridizes with a specific part of a target DNA, thus is complementary to any specific site. Since the genomic target sites may be located throughout the host cell genome, a plurality of oligonucleotides may be used for hybridizing the crRNA or gRNA with the target site. Therefore, this part is considered to be variable, characterized by the sequence which has an affinity to bind the specific hybridization target.The term "variant" as used herein shall refer to any sequence with a specific sequence identity or homology to a comparable parent sequence. A variant isspecifically any sequence derived from a parent sequence e.g., by size variation, such as (terminal or non-terminal, such as "interstitional" i.e. with deletions or insertions within the nucleotide sequence) elongation, or fragmentation, mutation, hybridization (including combination of sequences).The "functionally active variant" or "functional variant" of a nucleotide or amino acid sequence as used herein specifically means a mutant sequence, e.g. resulting from modification of a parent sequence by insertion, deletion or substitution of one or more nucleotides or amino acids within the sequence or at either or both of the distal ends of the sequence, and which modification does not affect (in particular impair) the activity of this sequence.Specifically, the functionally active variant of any of the molecules or components of the CRISPR/Cas system has substantially the same activity as the non-modified (naturally-occurring or wild-type) parent molecule and is selected from the group consisting ofhomologs with at least about 60% nucleotide sequence identity, preferably at least 70%, at least 80%, or at least 90% degree of homology or sequence identity to the parent sequence; and/orhomologs obtainable by modifying the parent sequence, or the sequence of a size variant used as a template to provide for mutations, e.g. by insertion, deletion or substitution of one or more nucleotides within the sequence or at either or both of the distal ends of the sequence;sequence variants derived from a parent or wild-type sequence as described herein by extension and/or fragmentation of the parent sequence, e.g. +/- 50% or +/-25%, or +/-10% of the length; oranalogs derived from species other thanStreptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus thermophiles, Neisseria Meningitis or Treponema Denticola,or the Cpf1 enzyme originating fromAcidaminococcus sp.orLachnospiraceae bacterium.The functionally active variants as described herein are also understood to encompass hybrids or chimeras of two or more parent sequences, e.g. resulting from combination of sequences that qualify as parent sequence with functional activity.Suitable variants have "substantially the same activity", which term is herein specifically understood to refer to the activity as indicated by substantially the same or improved efficacy of directed DNA break and/or mutagenesis, e.g. +/- 50% or +/- 25%, or +/-10%, as determined by the rate of successful DNA break and/or recombination.The term "homolog" or "homology" indicates that two or more nucleotide or amino acid sequences have the same or conserved pairs at a corresponding position, to a certain degree, up to a degree close to 100%. A homologous sequence of a functionally active variant typically has at least about 60% nucleotide or amino acid sequence identity, preferably at least about 70% identity, more preferably at least about 80% identity, more preferably at least about 90% identity, more preferably at least about 95% identity, more preferably at least about 98% or 99% identity. The term "homologous" may also include analogous sequences."Percent (%) identity" with respect to the nucleotide or amino acid sequence is defined as the percentage of nucleotides in a candidate DNA sequence that is identical with the nucleotides in the DNA sequence or the amino acids in a peptide/ polypeptide/ protein sequence, after aligning the sequence and introducing gaps, if necessary, to achieve the maximum percent sequence identity, and not considering any conservative substitutions as part of the sequence identity. Alignment for purposes of determining percent nucleotide sequence identity can be achieved in various ways that are within the skill in the art, for instance, using publicly available computer software. Those skilled in the art can determine appropriate parameters for measuring alignment, including any algorithms needed to achieve maximal alignment over the full length of the sequences being compared.A functionally active variant of a parent sequence as described herein may specifically be obtained through mutagenesis methods. The term "mutagenesis" as described herein shall refer to a method of providing mutants of a sequence, e.g. through insertion, deletion and/or substitution of one or more nucleotides or amino acids, so to obtain variants thereof. Mutagenesis may be through random, semi-random or site directed mutation. Typically large randomized gene libraries are produced with a high gene diversity, which may be selected according to a specifically desired genotype or phenotype.Preferably, the functionally active tracrRNA comprises or consists of a nucleotide sequence of at least 50 bases, specifically at least 60 bases, typically up to 90 or 100 bases. According to a specific example, the truncated tracrRNA is typically about 60 bases long, preferably 60-70 bases, e.g. 66 bases long, the full-length tracrRNA is typically 90 bases long. Some of the preferred functionally active variants of the tracrRNA as described herein are size variants or specifically fragments of a tracrRNA including truncated versions, preferably those including the 3' part of thetracrRNA molecule, e.g. including a truncated 5' part of a nucleotide sequence. For example a nucleotide sequence derived from one of exemplary tracrRNA nucleotide sequences which has a specific length and insertions or a deletion of the 5' terminal region, e.g. an elongation or truncation of the nucleotide sequence at the 5' end, so to obtain a specific length with a range from the 3' end to a varying 5' end, such as with a length of the nucleotide sequence of at least 50 bases, preferably at least 60 bases. The elongated size variant preferably comprises additional one or more nucleotide(s) at the 5' end of the tracrRNA sequence.Preferably, the functionally active crRNA comprises or consists of a nucleotide sequence of at least 25 bases, specifically at least 30 bases, typically up to 70 or 80 or 90 or 100 bases. According to a specific example, the truncated crRNA is typically about 30 bases long, preferably 30-40 bases, e.g. 32 bases long, the full-length crRNA is typically 50-60 bases long, e.g. 55 bases. Some of the preferred functionally active variants of the crRNA as described herein are size variants or specifically fragments of a crRNA including truncated versions, preferably those including the 5' part of the crRNA molecule, e.g. including a truncated 3' part of a nucleotide sequence. For example a nucleotide sequence derived from one of exemplary crRNA nucleotide sequences which has a specific length and insertions or a deletion of the 3' terminal region, e.g. an elongation or truncation of the nucleotide sequence at the 3' end, so to obtain a specific length with a range from the 5' end to a varying 3' end, such as with a length of the nucleotide sequence of at least 25 bases, preferably at least 30 bases. The elongated size variant preferably comprises additional one or more nucleotide(s) at the 3' end of the crRNA sequence.The functionally active tracrRNA variants may still include a region of complementarity to interact with the constant part of the crRNA. On the otherhand, the functionally active crRNA variants may still include a region of complementarity to interact with the trcrRNA. Typically, the 3' part of the crRNA or a functional variant of the crRNA is interacting with the 5' part of the tracrRNA (with or without a linker) through a region of complementarity. Thus, it is preferred that functional variants of the tracrRNA and the crRNA still comprise a region of complementarity which is at least 5 bp, preferably at least 10 bp, specifically located in the 5' part of the tracrRNA and in the 3' part of the crRNA.A functionally active variant of a crRNA, in particular the variable part of the crRNA, or an oligonucleotide as described for the purpose of the present inventionneed not be 100% complementary to its target sequence to be specifically hybridizable. An oligonucleotide is specifically hybridizable when binding of the oligonucleotide to the target DNA molecule interferes with the normal function of the target DNA, and there is a sufficient degree of complementarity to avoid non-specific binding of the oligonucleotide to non-target sequences under conditions where specific binding is desired, for example under physiological conditions in the case of in vivo assays or systems. Such binding is referred to as specific hybridization, e.g. hybridization under stringent conditions.Preferably, the functionally active RNA-guided endonuclease comprises or consists of an amino acid sequence of 500 to 3000 amino acids, preferably at least 1000 amino acids. Some of the preferred functionally active variants of the endonuclease as described herein are size variants or specifically fragments of a parent enzyme, in particular where the functionally active variants still comprise the active site of the enzyme including a RuvCl domain (containing a catalytic Asp residue) and an HNH domain (containing a catalytic His residue). Functionally active Cas endonuclease variants as described herein are specifically characterized by exhibiting substantially the same endonuclease activity as the non-modified (wt) Cas endonuclease (+/-10%, or +/- 5%), or even a higher endonuclease activity.The term "GOI" as used herein is understood as a "gene of interest" which regulates the expression of a gene encoding a POI. Thus, changing the structure (sequence) or function of GOI would change the host cell's capability of producing the POI. A MOI as described herein typically comprises one or more several (e.g. at least 1, 2, or 3; and/or up to 10 or 15) point mutations at the GOI which upregulates or downregulates the GOI expression. Such MOI is typically located within the GOI or at least within the GOI expression system, e.g. the GOI ORF. As typical for the CRISPR/Cas system, the MOI is located in close proximity to a PAM sequence where the DNA break induced by the Cas endonuclease and the DNA repair takes place. Exemplary GOI are listed in Table 1:Table 1: List of exemplary GOIFunction/AnnotationNameSystematic GeneIDOrganismalpha-glucosidaseagdAAn04g06920Aspergillus nigerOrotidine-5'-phosphate decarboxylasepyrGAn12g03570Aspergillus nigerActin structural proteinactAAn15g00560Aspergillus nigerPyruvate kinasepkiAAn07g08990Aspergillus niger6-phosphofructo-1-kinasepfkAAn18g01670Aspergillus nigerEssential chromatin-associated proteinMCM10YI L150CSaccharomyces cerevisiaeEssential nuclear envelope integral membrane proteinBRL1YHR036WSaccharomyces cerevisiaeA "MOI" as understood herein, typically has a mutagenesis pattern of a CRISPR/Cas system which is characterized by a small number of mutations, e.g. 1-x point mutations, which can include one or more of any of small (random) inserts or deletions of one or more nucleotides as desirable, e.g. to produce frameshift mutations. In particular, such deletions or insertions or frameshift mutations provide for knockout mutations, which are understood to encompass any mutation within a gene sequence or regulatory sequence directing the function of a gene, e.g. leading to a different gene expression as assessed at the protein level or a different phenotype, e.g. leading to a significant loss of the function of a gene (partial knock-out) or a complete knock-out of the gene. The significant functional loss of a gene specifically provides for a gene expression level or gene function of less than 10%, preferably less than 5%, or no detectable gene expression or function as compared to the parent cell without the knockout mutation. Specific mutations lead to a different gene expression. Also, exons or genes or chromosomal parts including a series of genes may be exchanged and marker sites introduced, e.g. restriction sites, or tags.The term "genomic target site" or "target site" as used herein shall refer to a genetic sequence of interest which is any locus or nucleic acid sequence endogenous to a cell, such as, for example a gene or a non-coding sequence within or adjacent to a GOI, in which it is desirable to modify by targeted mutagenesis and/or targeted homologous recombination. The genetic target site can be within the coding sequence of a gene, within transcribed non-coding sequence such as, for example, promoter orleader sequences, or introns, or within non-transcribed sequence, either upstream or downstream of a coding sequence.The DNA target site is typically characterized by a protospacer associated motif (PAM), which is a short DNA recognition site located adjacent to the target site in the human DNA sequence and which defines the site of RNA hybridization and the DNA break. Typically, the RNA hybridization is such that the crRNA hybridizes with the DNA sequence upstream the PAM motif, e.g. the DNA sequence joined to the 5' end of the motif. The DNA break is then catalyzed within the region of hybridization, e.g. a DNA break proximal to the PAM motif, in most cases in close proximity to the 5' end of the motif, such as within 10 positions, or within/ at 5 positions or within/ at 3positions upstream the PAM motif. Following the DNA break, the cellular repair mechanism provides for rejoining the DNA ends with or without incorporating mutations, typically proximal to the DNA break, e.g. in close proximity to the 5' end or 3' end of the DNA break, such as within 20 positions, or within 10 positions, or within 5 positions or within 3 positions upstream or downstream the DNA break.A specific genomic target site of interest is particularly predetermined and selected at a position of the host cell chromosomal genome where a DNA cleavage (single stranded or double stranded DNA break) and optionally recombination and/or mutation is desirable to regulate protein expression, in particular the POI expression, and where a PAM motif is present or has been introduced.Specifically the genomic target site as described herein is in close proximity to a PAM motif, in particular in close proximity to the 5' end of a PAM motif, such as within 10 positions, or within/ at 5 positions or within/ at 3 positions upstream the PAM motif. Following the DNA break, the cellular repair mechanism provides for rejoining the DNA ends with or without incorporating mutations, typically proximal to the DNA break, e.g. in close proximity to the 5' end or 3' end of the DNA break, such as within 20 positions, or within 10 positions, or within 5 positions or within 3 positions upstream or downstream the DNA break.Therefore, a specific genomic target site is suitably predetermined at the GOI, which means that the target site is located in the genome in close proximity or within a GOI which is subject to mutation by the present method. Typically the target site is within the GOI, or within 20 positions, or within 10 positions, or within 5 positions or within 3 positions upstream or downstream the GOI.As used herein, the term "hybridization" or "hybridizing" is intended to mean the process during which two nucleic acid sequences anneal to one another with stable and specific hydrogen bonds so as to form a double strand under appropriate conditions. The hybridization between two complementary sequences or sufficiently complementary sequences depends on the operating conditions that are used, and in particular the stringency. The stringency may be understood to denote the degree of homology; the higher the stringency, the higher percent homology between the sequences. The stringency may be defined in particular by the base composition of the two nucleic sequences, and/or by the degree of mismatching between these two nucleic sequences. By varying the conditions, e.g. salt concentration and temperature, a given nucleic acid sequence may be allowed to hybridize only with its exact complement (high stringency) or with any somewhat related sequences (low stringency). Increasing the temperature or decreasing the salt concentration may tend to increase the selectivity of a hybridization reaction.As used herein, the phrase "hybridizing under stringent hybridizing conditions" is preferably understood to refer to hybridizing under conditions of certain stringency. In a preferred embodiment the "stringent hybridizing conditions" are conditions where the two complementary sequences or sufficiently complementary sequences hybridize within the host cell, thus, under physiological conditions, in particular under conditions which are physiological to the host cell.Sequences of a certain complementarity like the part of the gRNA complementary to the target site, or the complementary sequences which form the thermosensitive stem I of the HH ribozyme, are particularly hybridizing within the host cell, i.e.in vivohybridizing. Therefore, the homology of the two nucleic acid sequences is specifically at least 70%, preferably at least 80%, preferably at least 90%, i.e. the double strand obtained during this hybridization comprises preferably at least 70%, preferably at least 80%, preferably at least 90% or 100% A-T bonds and C-G bonds.The stringent or physiological conditions and the respective stringency can be determined by those skilled in the art, e.g. as described inSambrook et al. (Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Cold Spring Harbor, 1989).The term "isolated" or "isolation" as used herein with respect to a nucleic acid, e.g. an isolated pre-gRNA; gRNA, an isolated constant part of the gRNA, an isolated tracrRNA or crRNA, or an isolated protein, e.g. an isolated RNA-guided endonuclease, or an isolated functional pair, such as an isolated pair or complex of a gRNA or atracrRNA associated or bound to the RNA-guided endonuclease, shall refer to such compound that has been sufficiently separated from the environment with which it would naturally be associated, so as to exist in "substantially pure" form. "Isolated" does not necessarily mean the exclusion of artificial or synthetic mixtures with other compounds or materials, or the presence of impurities that do not interfere with the fundamental activity, and that may be present, for example, due to incomplete purification. In particular, isolated nucleic acid molecules as described herein are also meant to include those chemically synthesized.Nucleic acids as described herein are specifically provided as "isolated nucleic acid" or as an "isolated nucleic acid sequence". This term, when applied to RNA or DNA, refers to a molecule that is separated from sequences with which it is immediately contiguous in the naturally-occurring organism. For example, an "isolated nucleic acid" may comprise a DNA molecule inserted into a vector, such as a plasmid, to express the respective gRNA encoded by such DNA. An "isolated nucleic acid" (either DNA or RNA) may further represent a molecule produced directly by biological or synthetic means and separated from other components present during its production.An isolated RNA-guided endonuclease is typically provided as a molecule isolated from a natural source, e.g. a bacterial cell culture, or provided as a recombinant molecule obtained from a recombinant host cell culture, or provided as artificial product obtained by a suitable method of synthesis. Such isolation typically involves suitable methods of purification, e.g. to obtained a purity of at least 80%, preferably at least 90% or at least 95%, up to 100% (w/w).The term "protein of interest (POI)" as used herein refers to a polypeptide or a protein that is produced by means of recombinant technology in a host cell, i.e. a recombinant POI. More specifically, the protein may either be a polypeptide not naturally-occurring in the host cell, i.e. a heterologous protein, or else may be native to the host cell, i.e. a homologous protein to the host cell, but is produced, for example, by transformation with a self-replicating vector containing the nucleic acid sequence encoding the POI, or upon integration by recombinant techniques of one or more copies of the nucleic acid sequence encoding the POI into the genome of the host cell, or by recombinant modification of one or more regulatory sequences controlling the expression of the gene encoding the POI, e.g. of the promoter sequence. In somecases the term POI as used herein also refers to any metabolite product by the host cell as mediated by the recombinantly expressed protein.The POI can be any eukaryotic, prokaryotic or synthetic polypeptide. It can be a secreted protein or an intracellular protein. The present invention also provides for the recombinant production of functional homologs, functional equivalent variants, derivatives and biologically active fragments of naturally occurring proteins. Functional homologs are preferably identical with or correspond to and have the functional characteristics of a sequence.A POI referred to herein may be a product homologous to the eukaryotic host cell or heterologous, preferably for therapeutic, prophylactic, diagnostic, analytic or industrial use.The POI is preferably a heterologous recombinant polypeptide or protein, produced in a eukaryotic cell, preferably a yeast cell, preferably as secreted proteins. Examples of preferably produced proteins are immunoglobulins, immunoglobulin fragments, aprotinin, tissue factor pathway inhibitor or other protease inhibitors, and insulin or insulin precursors, insulin analogues, growth hormones, interleukins, tissue plasminogen activator, transforming growth factor a or b, glucagon, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2), GRPP, Factor VII, Factor VIII, Factor XIII, platelet-derived growth factor1, serum albumin, enzymes, such as lipases or proteases, or a functional homolog, functional equivalent variant, derivative and biologically active fragment with a similar function as the native protein. The POI may be structurally similar to the native protein and may be derived from the native protein by addition of one or more amino acids to either or both the C- and N-terminal end or the side-chain of the native protein, substitution of one or more amino acids at one or a number of different sites in the native amino acid sequence, deletion of one or more amino acids at either or both ends of the native protein or at one or several sites in the amino acid sequence, or insertion of one or more amino acids at one or more sites in the native amino acid sequence. Such modifications are well known for several of the proteins mentioned above.A POI can also be selected from substrates, enzymes, inhibitors or cofactors that provide for biochemical reactions in the host cell, with the aim to obtain the product of said biochemical reaction or a cascade of several reactions, e.g. to obtain a metabolite of the host cell. Exemplary products can be vitamins, such as riboflavin,organic acids, and alcohols, which can be obtained with increased yields following the expression of a recombinant protein or a POI as described herein.The term "heterologous" as used herein with respect to a nucleotide or amino acid sequence or protein, refers to a compound which is either foreign, i.e. "exogenous", such as not found in nature, to a given host cell; or that is naturally found in a given host cell, e.g., is "endogenous", however, in the context of a heterologous construct, e.g. employing a heterologous nucleic acid. The heterologous nucleotide sequence as found endogenously may also be produced in an unnatural, e.g. greater than expected or greater than naturally found, amount in the cell. The heterologous nucleotide sequence, or a nucleic acid comprising the heterologous nucleotide sequence, possibly differs in sequence from the endogenous nucleotide sequence but encodes the same protein as found endogenously. Specifically, heterologous nucleotide sequences are those not found in the same relationship to a host cell in nature. Any recombinant or artificial nucleotide sequence engineered to transform a particular host cell is understood to be heterologous to the host cell. An example of a heterologous polynucleotide is a nucleotide sequence not natively associated with the gene to be expressed, e.g. a heterologous gene encoding the POI which expression ispositively regulated by the altered GOI expression, i.e. with an increased yield of POI production when the GOI is altered by the method as described herein; and/ornegatively regulated by the parent (non-altered) GOI expression, i.e. with a reduced yield of POI production when the GOI is not altered by the method as described herein.A specific example of a heterologous compound is a POI encoding gene or polynucleotide, to which endogenous, naturally-occurring genetic or regulatory elements of the host cell is not normally operably linked.It is understood that the method disclosed herein may include cultivating a recombinant host cell line under conditions permitting the expression of the POI, preferably in the secreted form or else as intracellular product. A recombinantly produced POI or a host cell metabolite can then be isolated from the cell culture medium and further purified by techniques well known to a person skilled in the art.The POI produced as described herein typically can be isolated and purified using state of the art techniques, including the increase of the concentration of the desired POI and/or the decrease of the concentration of at least one impurity.If the POI is secreted from the cells, it can be isolated and purified from the culture medium using state of the art techniques. Secretion of the recombinant expression products from the host cells is generally advantageous for reasons that include facilitating the purification process, since the products are recovered from the culture supernatant rather than from the complex mixture of proteins that results when yeast cells are disrupted to release intracellular proteins.The cultured transformant cells may also be ruptured sonically or mechanically, enzymatically or chemically to obtain a cell extract containing the desired POI, from which the POI is isolated and purified.As isolation and purification methods for obtaining a recombinant polypeptide or protein product, methods, such as methods utilizing difference in solubility, such as salting out and solvent precipitation, methods utilizing difference in molecular weight, such as ultrafiltration and gel electrophoresis, methods utilizing difference in electric charge, such as ion-exchange chromatography, methods utilizing specific affinity, such as affinity chromatography, methods utilizing difference in hydrophobicity, such as reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography, and methods utilizing difference in isoelectric point, such as isoelectric focusing may be used.The highly purified product is essentially free from contaminating proteins, and preferably has a purity of at least 90%, more preferred at least 95%, or even at least 98%, up to 100%. The purified products may be obtained by purification of the cell culture supernatant or else from cellular debris.As isolation and purification methods the following standard methods are preferred: Cell disruption (if the POI is obtained intracellularly), cell (debris) separation and wash by Microfiltration or Tangential Flow Filter (TFF) or centrifugation, POI purification by precipitation or heat treatment, POI activation by enzymatic digest, POI purification by chromatography, such as ion exchange (IEX), hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC), Affinity chromatography, size exclusion (SEC) or HPLC Chromatography, POI precipitation of concentration and washing by ultrafiltration steps.The POI may specifically be recovered from the cell culture in the purified form, e.g. substantially pure. The isolated and purified POI can be identified by conventional methods such as Western blot, HPLC, activity assay, or ELISA.The term "substantially pure" or "purified" as used herein shall refer to a preparation comprising at least 50% (w/w), preferably at least 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% or 95% of a compound, such as a nucleic acid molecule or a POI. Purity is measured by methods appropriate for the compound (e.g. chromatographic methods, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, HPLC analysis, and the like).The term "recombinant" as used herein shall mean "being prepared by or the result of genetic engineering". Thus, a "recombinant microorganism" comprises at least one "recombinant nucleic acid". A recombinant microorganism specifically comprises an expression vector or cloning vector, or it has been genetically engineered to contain a recombinant nucleic acid sequence. A "recombinant protein" is produced by expressing a respective recombinant nucleic acid in a host.In general, the recombinant nucleic acids or organisms as referred to herein may be produced by recombination techniques well known to a person skilled in the art. In accordance with the present invention there may be employed conventional molecular biology, microbiology, and recombinant DNA techniques within the skill of the art. Such techniques are explained fully in the literature. See, e.g.,Maniatis, Fritsch & Sambrook, "Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, Cold Spring Harbor, (1982).Expression vectors may include but are not limited to cloning vectors, modified cloning vectors and specifically designed plasmids. The preferred expression vector as used herein may be any expression vector suitable for expression of a recombinant gene in a host cell and is selected depending on the host organism. The recombinant expression vector may be any vector which is capable of replicating in or integrating into the genome of the host organisms, also called host vector.For recombinant POI production, appropriate expression vectors typically comprise regulatory sequences suitable for expressing DNA encoding a POI in a eukaryotic host cell. Examples of regulatory sequences include promoter, operators, enhancers, ribosomal binding sites, and sequences that control transcription and translation initiation and termination. The regulatory sequences are typically operably linked to the DNA sequence to be expressed. To allow expression of a recombinant nucleotide sequence in a host cell, the expression vector specifically provides a promoter adjacent to the 5' end of the coding sequence, e.g. upstream from the geneencoding the POI or a signal peptide gene enabling secretion of the POI. The transcription is thereby regulated and initiated by this promoter sequence.The POI can be produced by cultivating the recombinant host cell line transformed with the expression vector in an appropriate medium, isolating the expressed product or metabolite from the culture, and optionally purifying it by a suitable method.Transformants as described herein can be obtained, e.g. by introducing an expression vector or plasmid into the host cell and selecting transformants which express the POI or the host cell metabolite with high yields. Host cells are treated to enable them to incorporate foreign DNA by methods conventionally used for transformation of eukaryotic cells. Preferred methods of transformation for the uptake of the recombinant DNA fragment by the eukaryotic host cells include chemical transformation, electroporation or transformation by protoplastation.There are several different preferred approaches for the production of the POI as described herein. Substances may be expressed, processed and optionally secreted by transforming a eukaryotic host cell with an expression vector harboring recombinant DNA encoding a relevant protein and at least one of the regulatory elements as described above, preparing a culture of the transformed cell, growing the culture, inducing transcription and POI production, and recovering the product of the fermentation process. The host cell as described herein is specifcially tested for its expression capacity or yield upon activating the pre-gRNA which initiates the production phase, e.g. as an in process control. Therefore, the following tests may be used: ELISA, activity assay, HPLC, or other suitable tests.The foregoing description will be more fully understood with reference to the following examples. Such examples are, however, merely representative of methods of practicing one or more embodiments of the present invention and should not be read as limiting the scope of invention.EXAMPLESExample 1: Plasmid preparation containing a thermosensitive pre-gRNA element for the expression inAspergillus nigertargeting a specific locus in the genomeAs a GOI theA. nigergene 214233 (JGI assembly v 3.0 (June 30, 2008)) or An04g06920 was selected. A 23 bp sequence (SEQ ID 11) was selected in the coding sequence of the gene which contained a PAM site on its 3'end having the sequence 5'- NGG and is named target sequence (TS). The first 6 bp from the 5'end of the TS (sequence: TGGCTC) contained 4 G or C residues and only 2 A or T residues.In order to construct the pre-guide RNA, the reverse complementary sequence of these 6 bp (sequence: GAGCCA) was fused on the 5'end of a hammerhead ribozyme (SEQ ID 12). On the 3'end of the HH ribozyme the first 20 bp (TS without PAM, SEQ ID 15) of the TS were fused followed by the core gRNA sequence and the HDV ribozyme. This sequence constitutes thermosensitive pre-gRNA of the target locus 214233. In order to produce the RNAin vivo,a DNA plasmid is constructed, which serves as a transcriptional template. The plasmid contains the pre-gRNA, which is flanked by the fungal pmbfA promoter(A. niger)(Blumhoff M, et al. 2013. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 97: 259-67.) and the trpC terminator(A. nidulans).The Cas9 coding sequence was obtained from plasmid #43802 from addgene (SEQ ID 16) The Cas9 gene is under control of the fungal coxA promoter(A. niger)(Blumhoff M, et al. 2013. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 97: 259-67.) and is terminated by the cyc terminator of Scerevisiae.The expression plasmids were constructed following a modular cloning system (Engler et al., 2009; Werner et al., 2012). Single DNA fragments were amplified by PCR removing internal Bbsl and Bsal with mutated primers. Bbsl restriction sites were fused to the ends of each fragment by means of PCR using extended primers. Multiple DNA fragments were assembled in a one-pot reaction in presence of a type IIS restriction enzyme (Bbsl for level1 or Bsal for level2, New England Biolabs), T4 ligase (New England Biolabs) and T4 ligase buffer. The assembly was incubated allowing 45 cycles of restriction and ligation (respectively, 37 °C, 1 min and 16 °C, 2.5 min). Obtained plasmids were cloned into E. coli DH10B and isolated according to standard methods (Sambrook, J., Russel, D., 2001. Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual, 3 rd. ed. Coldd Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York.).Escherichia coliDH10B was used as host for DNA manipulation.E. colitransformants were grown on LB (lysogeny broth, Sambrook and Russel, 2001) supplemented with 50 µg/ml kanamycine, 50 µg/mL ampicillin or 100 µg/ml hygromycin B.The final plasmid containing the pre-guide RNA for the DNA TS 214233 was named MST623 and was selected on LB plates supplemented with hygromycin B. The respective plasmid sequence is given in file (SEQ ID 17).It is also possible to obtain the before mentioned DNA sequence by partial or total gene synthesis which is commercially provided.Example 2: Generation of conditional gene deletion strains inA. nigerAspergillus nigerJB1 was used as parental strain. JB1 is an industrial derivative of the strain ATCC 1015 obtained by classical UV mutagenesis and selection for high citric acid secretion (Pelechová, J. et al. 1990 Folia Microbiol. (Praha). 35, 138-42.). Protoplast transformation ofA. nigerwas performed according to the previously described method (Arentshorst et al., 2012). Briefly, protoplasts are generated by incubation in the presence of lysing enzymes (Sigma Aldrich, Lysing enzymes formTrichoderma harzianum,L1412) in an osmotically stabilized buffer. Protoplasts are thereafter washed and separated by centrifugation at 2000 RCF, 4°C. The transformation of DNA into the protoplasts is achieved in the presence of PEG6000. In total 1-10µg plasmid DNA are needed for the transformation using about 10^6protoplasts. Selection of transformants was achieved on osmotically stabilized MMS plates supplemented with 150 µg/mL hygromycin B (MMSH). All transformants were purified by single colony isolation on the selection medium at least twice.Transformed protoplasts were plated on MMSH (minimal medium saccharose hygromycin) plates and incubated on<25 °C, 30°C or 37°C. In addition the control pMST621 was transformed and transformed protoplasts were plated on MMSHU (minimal medium saccharose hygromycin uridin) plates at 30°C. Individual transformants were obtained and purified twice on MMH (minimal medium hygromycin) plates. The successful CRISPR deletion was verified by PCR after DNA extraction (Arentshorst et al., 2012). The transformants were cultivated in liquid malt extract agar (3%) at <25 °C, 30°C or 37°C C in an orbital shaker at 150rpm. Mycelia was harvested after 24 hour. DNA was extracted from the transformants (Arentshorst et al., 2012) and the sequence of the target locus was amplified by PCR using the primer check_fw (SEQ ID 13 and check_rev (SEQ ID 14) The occurrence of insertions or deletions on the target locus was checked by sequencing. The obtained PCR product was sent for sequencing at a commercial sequencing service (Microsynth AG).In Table 2 frequency of finding a gene deletion on the respective target locus in individual transformants is shown. At temperatures around 25°C no mutations can be found using the temperature inducible pre-guide RNA. At 30°C about 50% of the analyzed transformants carry a MOI at the respective target site. The gene deletion frequency at 37°C reaches up to 100%. However, at this elevated temperature the optimal growth temperature of the fungal cell exceeded and less transformants are obtained.Table 2 Gene deletion efficiency at different temperatures using a temperature inducible gene deletion system. Percentage of successful gene deletions verified by sequencing of the respective gene locus. The obtained MOI were small insertions or deletions adjacent to the PAM site of the target locus.TemperatureMOI frequency in transformed strainsMOI frequency in transformed strains %<25°C0 from 8 tested0%30°C8 from 15 tested53%371 from 1 tested100 /Example 3: Conditional gene deletions inAspergillus nigerdeletion after induction of a stable transformantAs described in Example 1,A. nigertransformant strains were obtained after transformation with plasmid pMST623. Eight strains which were kept at 25°C had no MOI on the respective target locus. Three of these strains were selected and conidia were obtained on MMH plates. Conidia of the fungus were plated on fresh MMH plates and the plates were separately incubated on 25°C, 30°C or 37°C for at least 5 days or until the conidia formation was visible.The strains obtained after this temperature induction step were purified in two consecutive steps on MMH plates and were further incubated on 25°C, 30°C or 37°C. The transformants were cultivated in liquid malt extract agar (3%) at<25 °C, 30°C or 37°C in an orbital shaker at 150rpm. Mycelia was harvested after 24 hour. DNA was extracted from the transformants (Arentshorst et al., 2012) and the sequence of thetarget locus was amplified by PCR using the primer check_fw (SEQ ID 13) and check_rev (SEQ ID 14). The occurrence of insertions or deletions on the target locus was checked by sequencing. The obtained PCR product was sent for sequencing at a commercial sequencing service (Microsynth AG).No mutations were found after an induction temperature of <25°C. At 30°C two strains carried a MOI and at 37°C all three strains carried a MOI (Table 3). This result shows that a strain which is cultivated at temperatures below 25°C is stable in respect to the GOI, but can be mutated by shifting the temperature to values >30°C. This strain is thus referred to as a (temperature inducible) conditional deletion strain.Table 3: Gene deletion efficiency at different temperatures using a temperature inducible gene deletion system. Percentage of successful gene deletions verified by sequencing of the respective gene locus. The obtained MOI were small insertions or deletions adjacent to the PAM site of the target locus.TemperatureMOI frequency in temperature induced strainsMIC frequency in temperature induced strains %<25°C0 from 3 tested0%30°C2 from 3 tested∼66%373 from 3 tested100 %Example 4: Finding other DNA targeting site which are temperature sensitive by modifying the stem I region of the hammerhead ribozymeTo create more gRNA, which are temperature sensitive, the stem loop I region of the hammerhead ribozyme is altered. This can be achieved by the selection of a TS, which contains:a) More or equal than 4 G or C residues in first 6 bp of the 20bp sequenceb) Or by an elongation of the stem I region (>6bp) so that the melting temperature >= 20°Cc) The sequence of the gRNA starts with NNNCUC, wherein N is any of A, G, C, or U.The melting temperature (Tm) of the stem I is thus calculated by assigning 2°C to each A-U pair and 4°C to each G-C pair and forming the sum out of each residue, which contributes to the stem loop, as shown below.Equation 1: Calculation melting temperatureTm°C=4°C*#GC+2°C*#AU#(GC) number of GC pairs in sequence#(AU) number of AU pairs in sequenceThe calculated melting temperature resembles the melting temperature of the stem I of the hammerhead ribozyme. The respective working temperatures (first working temperature and second working temperature) may differ from the melting temperature because it is dependent on the microbial host and the respective applied salt concentration. Based on the calculated melting temperature, the working temperatures with inactive pre-gRNA and for activating the gRNA can be determined in the appropriate host cell. The first working temperature according to example 3, where the pre-gRNA is not cleaved, is 20°C and the second working temperature, which activates the pre-gRNA by self-cleaving, is 37°C.Example 5: Using a modified four U stem/loop III for a hammerhead ribozyme to create a temperature sensitive pro-guide RNAAnother option to create a thermosensitive pre-gRNA is presented. This design allows to targeted virtual any 20 bp region with the gRNA/Cas9 complex and is thus sequence independent. A hammerhead ribozyme is created which has a modified stem/loop III region. It is replaced by the Stem/ loop III fourU, which is known to be temperature sensitive. The sequence of the constant part of the hammerhead backbone is depicted in SEQ ID 4. The sequence of the hammerhead ribozyme fused to the gRNA has a sequence as depicted in SEQ ID 9, whereas the positions marked with N a variable (wherein N is any of A, G, C, or U) and are only defined by the targeting locus. The hammerhead ribozyme in this setup is inactive at temperatures> 35°C and active at temperatures below 30°C (Saragliadis, 2013, RNAbiology, 10, 1010-1016).Example 6: Activation of gene drives with a temperature inducible gRNACRISPR Cas9 enables the development of gene drives which have the capability to genetically modify entire populations of a species like the mosquitoAnopheles stephensi,a vector of malaria (Gantz et al. 2015 Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 201521077. doi:10.1073/pnas.1521077112). In order to control the spread of a gene drive it might be beneficial to link it to external parameters like ambient temperature. A temperature inducible gRNA allows to control the spreading of a gene drive depending on the ambient temperature ofAnopheles stephensi.Only at temperatures above 30°C the respective gene drive is propagated throughout the population. The gRNA sequence in Gantz et al. needs to be replaced by SEQ ID 18 in order to obtain a functional temperature sensitive gRNA, which is inactive at temperatures below 30°C.Example 7: Decoupling of the biomass formation phase and the production phaseThe temperature inducible element is used to decouple the biomass formation phase in a fermentation from the phase were only the product is formed. This product can be itaconic acid and the respective organism isE. coli(expressingcadAATEG_09971 fromA. terreusunder a constitutive promoter). As a TS for the temperature inducible CRISPR element a gene is selected, which is essential for biomass formation. This gene is isocitrate dehydrogenase (icd). The cells are transformed with a plasmid encoding a temperature sensitive pre-guide RNA targeting icd. Furthermore, a A Red recombineering system and donor template DNA to repair the introduce a desired frameshift mutation in icd gene is transformed toE. coli(Li, Y et al. 2015, Metab. Eng. 31, 13-2. The transformants are cultivated at 25°C to produce biomass until a desired optical density is reached. Then the temperature is shifted to 37°C inducing formation of mature gRNA and the gene deletion of icd. This will interrupt the circular action of the TCA cycle, leading to a reduction of the biomass formation rate and to an increased production of itaconic acid.Example 8: Testing the efficiency of a temperature inducible CRISPR/Cas9 system inPichia pastoriswith flow cytometryThe temperature inducible CRISPR/Cas9 system as described in example 1 was introduced intoPichia pastoris.In order to have a reporter construct a green fluorescene protein (sGFP) was created containing the TS in its coding sequence. For this purpose the sGFP coding sequence was designed by replacing the sGFP start codon by the 23 bp of the TS sequence (SEQ ID 11) and adding an additional base pair A at the 5'end of the sequence. The respective codon sequence was assembled by a golden gate cloning procedure with a pGAP promoter ofPichia pastorisand a CYC1 terminator of S.cerevisiae.The respective cassette was integrated in single copy at the GAP locus in theP. pastorisgenome. Transformation ofP. pastorisby electroporation was performed following the standard protocol described in the Pichia manuals (Invitrogen). The respective strain was further transformed with a plasmid containing a pre-gRNA (Seq ID: 6) expressed under the control of a pGAP promoter controlling the temperature after transformation at 20 °C.The obtained strain was grown at 20°C, 30°C and 37°C and the green fluorescence per cell was measured by flow cytometry.References:Arentshorst, M., Ram, A.F.J., Meyer, V., 2012. Using non-homologous end-joining-deficient strains for functional gene analyses in filamentous fungi. Methods Mol. Biol. 835, 133-50. doi:10.1007/978-1-61779-501-5_9Blumhoff, M.L., Steiger, M.G., Marx, H., Mattanovich, D., Sauer, M., 2013. Six novel constitutive promoters for metabolic engineering of Aspergillus niger. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 97, 259-267. doi:10.1007/s00253-012-4207-9Engler, C., Gruetzner, R., Kandzia, R., Marillonnet, S., 2009. Golden gate shuffling: a one-pot DNA shuffling method based on type IIs restriction enzymes. PLoS One 4, e5553. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005553Gao, Y., Zhao, Y., 2014. Self-processing of ribozyme-flanked RNAs into guide RNAs in vitro and in vivo for CRISPR-mediated genome editing. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 56, 343-349. doi:10.1111/jipb.12152Jennifer A. DOUDNA, Martin Jinek, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Krzysztof Chylinski, James Harrison Doudna Cate, Wendell Lim, Lei Qi, W.«., n.d. Methods and compositions for rna-directed target dna modification and for rna-directed modulation of transcription.US20140068797.Nodvig, C.S., Nielsen, J.B., Kogle, M.E., Mortensen, U.H., 2015. A CRISPR-Cas9 System for Genetic Engineering of Filamentous Fungi. PLoS One 10, e0133085. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133085Sambrook, J., Russel, D., 2001. Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual, 3 rd. ed. Coldd Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York.Saragliadis, A., Krajewski, S.S., Rehm, C., Narberhaus, F., Hartig, J.S., 2013. Thermozymes: Synthetic RNA thermometers based on ribozyme activity. RNA Biol. 10, 1010-6. doi:10.4161/rna.24482Werner, S., Engler, C., Weber, E., Gruetzner, R., Marillonnet, S., 2012. Fast track assembly of multigene constructs using golden gate cloning and the MoClo system. Bioeng. Bugs 3, 38-43. doi:10.4161/bbug.3.1.18223Zetsche, B., Gootenberg, J.S., Abudayyeh, O.O., Slaymaker, I.M., Makarova, K.S., Essletzbichler, P., Volz, S.E., Joung, J., van der Oost, J., Regev, A., Koonin, E. V., Zhang, F., 2015. Cpf1 Is a Single RNA-Guided Endonuclease of a Class 2 CRISPR-Cas System. Cell 163, 759-771. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.09.038 See more
A method of producing a mutant host cell with altered expression of a gene of interest (GOI) by a temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system, which comprises:a) at a first working temperature, introducing into a host cell a CRISPR/Cas system employingi) an inactive pre-guide RNA (pre-gRNA) which is a ribozyme-extended guide RNA comprising a guide RNA (gRNA) that recognizes a predetermined target site at the GOI, terminally extended by at least one self-processing Hammerhead (HH) ribozymecharacterized bythe presence of a thermosensitive hairpin and a cleavage site adjacent to the gRNA; andii) a RNA-guided Cas endonuclease which recognizes the target site upon hybridizing with the gRNA;b) increasing the first working temperature to a second working temperature, thereby changing the structure of the thermosensitive hairpin and activating the pre-gRNA by self-catalyzed cleavage at the cleavage site to obtain the gRNA, which induces binding of the endonuclease to the target site, thereby altering expression of the GOI.The method of claim 1, wherein the endonuclease catalyzes a DNA break at the target site upon hybridizing with the gRNA and the GOI expression is altered by cellular repair mechanisms induced by a DNA break, thereby introducing a mutation of interest (MOI) at the GOI, preferably a MOI comprising at least one frameshift mutation, insertion, substitution, and/or deletion of one or more nucleotides impairing the open reading frame (ORF) of the GOI.The method of claim 1 or 2, wherein said HH ribozyme comprisesa) a HH ribozyme constant region;b) a variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of at least 3 nucleotides; andc) a complementary 5'-terminal sequence hybridizing to the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence, thereby obtaining a thermosensitive stem I of at least 3 complementary base pairs,preferably, wherein the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of the HH ribozyme forms the 5'-terminus of the gRNA upon cleaving the pre-gRNA; and the 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence of the HH ribozyme is hybridizing thereto.The method of claim 3, wherein the HH ribozyme constant region comprises a nucleotide sequence identified as SEQ ID 5, preferably any of the nucleotide sequences identified as SEQ ID 1, SEQ ID 2, SEQ ID 3, or SEQ ID 4, or a functional variant of any of the foregoing with at least 70 % sequence identity.The method of any of claims 1 to 4, wherein the pre-gRNA comprises any of the nucleotide sequences identified as SEQ ID 6, SEQ ID 7, SEQ ID 8, or SEQ ID 9, or a functional variant of any of the foregoing with at least 70 % sequence identity.The method of any of claims 1 to 8, wherein the pre-gRNA further comprises a hepatitis delta virus type (HDV) ribozyme as a further terminal extension of the gRNA sequence opposite to the extension by the HH ribozyme, preferably wherein the HDV ribozyme comprises the nucleotide sequence identified as SEQ ID 10, or a functional variant thereof with at least 70 % sequence identity.The method of any of claims 1 to 10, wherein the first working temperature is any below 30 °C, and the second working temperature is any above 30°C.The method of any of claims 1 to 7, wherein the host cell is cultivated in a fed-batch culture, wherein the host cell is first cultivated at the first working temperature during the growth phase, followed by increasing the first working temperature to the second working temperature thereby activating the pre-gRNA and altering the expression of the GOI in the production phase.The method of any of claims 1 to 8, wherein the host cell is any of a bacterial, filamentous fungi, yeast, mammalian, or avian host cell.The method of any of claims 1 to 9, wherein the endonuclease is selected from the group consisting of Cas9 enzymes originating from any ofStreptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus thermophiles, Neisseria MeningitisorTreponema Denticola,or the Cpf1 enzyme originating fromAcidaminococcus sp.orLachnospiraceae bacterium,and functional variants of any of the foregoing, including Cas9 nickases or artificial enzymes.The method of any of claims 1 to 10, wherein the GOI is selected from the group consisting of genes encoding regulatory proteins of the host cell, preferably metabolic enzymes, or proteins involved in cell cycle arrest, preferably any of the regulatory proteins listed in Table 1, or analogues thereof naturally-occurring in the host cell.A method of producing a protein of interest (POI) in a host cell transformed with the temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system as defined in claim 1, wherein the host cell comprises a gene encoding the POI regulated by the GOI expression product, comprisinga) growing the host cell under growth conditions at the first working temperature thereby obtaining a cell culture;b) elevating said first working temperature in the cell culture to the second working temperature, thereby altering expression of the GOI and initiating the production of the POI; andc) isolating the POI from the cell culture,preferably wherein the POI is a heterologous protein, preferably selected from therapeutic proteins, including antibodies or fragments thereof, enzymes and peptides, protein antibiotics, toxin fusion proteins, carbohydrate - protein conjugates, structural proteins, regulatory proteins, vaccines and vaccine like proteins or particles, process enzymes, growth factors, hormones and cytokines, or a metabolite of a POI.A host cell transformed with the temperature-inducible CRISPR/Cas system as defined in claim 1, wherein the host cell comprises a gene encoding a heterologous POI regulated by the GOI expression product.A thermosensitive HH ribozyme, which comprises or consists ofa) a HH ribozyme constant region, preferably consisting of the nt sequence identified as SEQ ID 5; which is terminally extended byb) at least a variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of at least 3 nucleotides; andc) a complementary 5'-terminal nucleotide sequence hybridizing to the 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence, thereby obtaining a thermosensitive stem I,wherein the stem I ischaracterized byat least any ofi. the hybridizing part of the variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of b) consists of at least 6 nucleotides and comprises at least four G or C residues;ii. the hybridizing part of the variable 3'-terminal nucleotide sequence of b) comprises or consists of at least 6 nucleotides having the sequence NNNCUC, wherein N is any of A, G, C, or U; oriii. a length of at least 7 bp, or less than 6 bp.A pre-gRNA, which comprises the thermosensitive HH ribozyme of claim 14.See more