Nat Commun 8 (1) 15058 [2017-05-12; online 2017-05-12]
Precisely measuring the location and frequency of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) along the genome is instrumental to understanding genomic fragility, but current methods are limited in versatility, sensitivity or practicality. Here we present Breaks Labeling In Situ and Sequencing (BLISS), featuring the following: (1) direct labelling of DSBs in fixed cells or tissue sections on a solid surface; (2) low-input requirement by linear amplification of tagged DSBs by in vitro transcription; (3) quantification of DSBs through unique molecular identifiers; and (4) easy scalability and multiplexing. We apply BLISS to profile endogenous and exogenous DSBs in low-input samples of cancer cells, embryonic stem cells and liver tissue. We demonstrate the sensitivity of BLISS by assessing the genome-wide off-target activity of two CRISPR-associated RNA-guided endonucleases, Cas9 and Cpf1, observing that Cpf1 has higher specificity than Cas9. Our results establish BLISS as a versatile, sensitive and efficient method for genome-wide DSB mapping in many applications.