Identification of oncogenic driver mutations by genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 dropout screening.
ABSTRACT: Genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 dropout screens can identify genes whose knockout affects cell viability. Recent CRISPR screens detected thousands of essential genes required for cellular survival and key cellular processes; however discovering novel lineage-specific genetic dependencies from the many hits still remains a challenge.To assess whether CRISPR-Cas9 dropout screens can help identify cancer dependencies, we screened two human cancer cell lines carrying known and distinct oncogenic mutations using a genome-wide sgRNA library. We found that the gRNA targeting the driver mutation EGFR was one of the highest-ranking candidates in the EGFR-mutant HCC-827 lung adenocarcinoma cell line. Likewise, sgRNAs for NRAS and MAP2K1 (MEK1), a downstream kinase of mutant NRAS, were identified among the top hits in the NRAS-mutant neuroblastoma cell line CHP-212. Depletion of these genes targeted by the sgRNAs strongly correlated with the sensitivity to specific kinase inhibitors of the EGFR or RAS pathway in cell viability assays. In addition, we describe other dependencies such as TBK1 in HCC-827 cells and TRIB2 in CHP-212 cells which merit further investigation.We show that genome-wide CRISPR dropout screens are suitable for the identification of oncogenic drivers and other essential genes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Genome-wide loss-of-function screens using the CRISPR/Cas9 system allow the efficient discovery of cancer cell vulnerabilities. While several studies have focused on correcting for DNA cleavage toxicity biases associated with copy number alterations, the effects of sgRNAs co-targeting multiple genomic loci in CRISPR screens have not been discussed. RESULTS:In this work, we analyze CRISPR essentiality screen data from 391 cancer cell lines to characterize biases induced by multi-target sgRNAs. We investigate two types of multi-targets: on-targets predicted through perfect sequence complementarity and off-targets predicted through sequence complementarity with up to two nucleotide mismatches. We find that the number of on-targets and off-targets both increase sgRNA activity in a cell line-specific manner and that existing additive models of gene knockout effects fail at capturing genetic interactions that may occur between co-targeted genes. We use synthetic lethality between paralog genes to show that genetic interactions can introduce biases in essentiality scores estimated from multi-target sgRNAs. We further show that single-mismatch tolerant sgRNAs can confound the analysis of gene essentiality and lead to incorrect co-essentiality functional networks. Lastly, we also find that single nucleotide polymorphisms located in protospacer regions can impair on-target activity as a result of mismatch tolerance. CONCLUSION:We show the impact of multi-target effects on estimating cancer cell dependencies and the impact of off-target effects caused by mismatch tolerance in sgRNA-DNA binding.
Project description:Single-cell CRISPR screens enable the exploration of mammalian gene function and genetic regulatory networks. However, use of this technology has been limited by reliance on indirect indexing of single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs). Here we present direct-capture Perturb-seq, a versatile screening approach in which expressed sgRNAs are sequenced alongside single-cell transcriptomes. Direct-capture Perturb-seq enables detection of multiple distinct sgRNA sequences from individual cells and thus allows pooled single-cell CRISPR screens to be easily paired with combinatorial perturbation libraries that contain dual-guide expression vectors. We demonstrate the utility of this approach for high-throughput investigations of genetic interactions and, leveraging this ability, dissect epistatic interactions between cholesterol biogenesis and DNA repair. Using direct capture Perturb-seq, we also show that targeting individual genes with multiple sgRNAs per cell improves efficacy of CRISPR interference and activation, facilitating the use of compact, highly active CRISPR libraries for single-cell screens. Last, we show that hybridization-based target enrichment permits sensitive, specific sequencing of informative transcripts from single-cell RNA-seq experiments.
Project description:Genetic screens using CRISPR/Cas9 have been exploited to discover host-virus interactions. These screens have identified viral dependencies on host proteins during their life cycle and potential antiviral strategies. The acyl-CoA binding domain containing 3 (ACBD3) was identified as an essential host factor for the Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) infection. Other groups have also investigated the role of ACBD3 as a host factor for diverse enteroviruses in cultured cells. However, it has not been tested if ACBD3 is required in the animal model of CVB3 infection. Owing to embryonic lethality, conventional knockout mice were not available for in vivo study. As an alternative approach, we used adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated CRISPR genome editing to generate mice that lacked ACBD3 within the pancreas, the major target organ for CVB3. Delivery of sgRNAs using self-complementary (sc) AAV8 efficiently induced a loss-of-function mutation in the pancreas of the Cas9 knock-in mice. Loss of ACBD3 in the pancreas resulted in a 100-fold reduction in the CVB3 titer within the pancreas and a noticeable reduction in viral protein expression. These results indicate a crucial function of ACBD3 in CVB3 infection in vivo. AAV-mediated CRISPR genome editing may be applicable to many in vivo studies on the virus-host interaction and identify a novel target for antiviral therapeutics.
Project description:CRISPR-Cas9 genome-wide screens were performed in retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE1) with either wild-type TP53 gene, or a TP53-null background. Results show wild-type TP53 has minimal impact on the efficiency of CRISPR dropout screens. Overall design: Five genome-wide CRISPR dropout screens are performed independently in RPE1 cells using TKOv1 (n=1), TKOv2 (n=1) or TKOv3 (n=3) CRISPR libraries. Screens were performed in duplicate (n=2) or triplicate (n=3).
Project description:Pooled CRISPR-Cas9 screens are a powerful method for functionally characterizing regulatory elements in the non-coding genome, but off-target effects in these experiments have not been systematically evaluated. Here, we investigate Cas9, dCas9, and CRISPRi/a off-target activity in screens for essential regulatory elements. The sgRNAs with the largest effects in genome-scale screens for essential CTCF loop anchors in K562 cells were not single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) that disrupted gene expression near the on-target CTCF anchor. Rather, these sgRNAs had high off-target activity that, while only weakly correlated with absolute off-target site number, could be predicted by the recently developed GuideScan specificity score. Screens conducted in parallel with CRISPRi/a, which do not induce double-stranded DNA breaks, revealed that a distinct set of off-targets also cause strong confounding fitness effects with these epigenome-editing tools. Promisingly, filtering of CRISPRi libraries using GuideScan specificity scores removed these confounded sgRNAs and enabled identification of essential regulatory elements.
Project description:The recently developed CRISPR screen technology, based on the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system, enables genome-wide interrogation of gene functions in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Although many computational algorithms and web servers have been developed to design single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) with high specificity and efficiency, algorithms specifically designed for conducting CRISPR screens are still lacking. Here we present CRISPR-FOCUS, a web-based platform to search and prioritize sgRNAs for CRISPR screen experiments. With official gene symbols or RefSeq IDs as the only mandatory input, CRISPR-FOCUS filters and prioritizes sgRNAs based on multiple criteria, including efficiency, specificity, sequence conservation, isoform structure, as well as genomic variations including Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and cancer somatic mutations. CRISPR-FOCUS also provides pre-defined positive and negative control sgRNAs, as well as other necessary sequences in the construct (e.g., U6 promoters to drive sgRNA transcription and RNA scaffolds of the CRISPR/Cas9). These features allow users to synthesize oligonucleotides directly based on the output of CRISPR-FOCUS. Overall, CRISPR-FOCUS provides a rational and high-throughput approach for sgRNA library design that enables users to efficiently conduct a focused screen experiment targeting up to thousands of genes. (CRISPR-FOCUS is freely available at http://cistrome.org/crispr-focus/).
Project description:The CRISPR-Cas9 system has revolutionized genome engineering, allowing precise modification of DNA in various organisms. The most popular method for conducting CRISPR-based functional screens involves the use of pooled lentiviral libraries in selection screens coupled with next-generation sequencing. Screens employing genome-scale pooled small guide RNA (sgRNA) libraries are demanding, particularly when complex assays are used. Furthermore, pooled libraries are not suitable for microscopy-based high-content screens or for systematic interrogation of protein function. To overcome these limitations and exploit CRISPR-based technologies to comprehensively investigate epigenetic mechanisms, we have generated a focused sgRNA library targeting 450 epigenetic regulators with multiple sgRNAs in human cells. The lentiviral library is available both in an arrayed and pooled format and allows temporally-controlled induction of gene knock-out. Characterization of the library showed high editing activity of most sgRNAs and efficient knock-out at the protein level in polyclonal populations. The sgRNA library can be used for both selection and high-content screens, as well as for targeted investigation of selected proteins without requiring isolation of knock-out clones. Using a variety of functional assays we show that the library is suitable for both in vitro and in vivo applications, representing a unique resource to study epigenetic mechanisms in physiological and pathological conditions.
Project description:We performed a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 loss-of-function screen on 14 immortalised human cancer cell lines that are a subset of the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer (GDSC) panel . These cell lines were transduced with a Cas9 lentiviral expression vector creating cells with stable expression of Cas9 endonuclease . This was followed by transduction of a library of sgRNA (90,709 sgRNAs; targeting 18,000 genes, 5 targeting sgRNAs per gene) . Next generation sequencing of the pool of sgRNAs at the beginning and at the end of the experiment produced the raw count files contained in this dataset. It is possible to identify sgRNAs targeting essential genes, via quantification of the corresponding fold changes between initial and final measurements (logFCs). The sgRNAs that have a significant reduced count over the course of the experiment were deemed to be depleted and as such, defined as having targeted an essential gene.
This data was generated to test the performances of the CRISPRcleanR method (https://github.com/francescojm/CRISPRcleanR) in unsupervised correcting gene independent cell responses to CRISPR-Cas9 targeting .
 Iorio et al., A landscape of pharmacogenomic interactions in cancer. Cell 2016
 Tzelepis et al., A CRISPR Dropout Screen Identifies Genetic Vulnerabilities and Therapeutic Targets in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Cell Reports 2016
 Iorio et al., Unsupervised correction of gene independent cell responses to CRISPR-Cas9 targeting, In preparation
Project description:CRISPR-Cas9 technology has accelerated biological research becoming routine for many laboratories. It is rapidly replacing conventional gene editing techniques and has high utility for both genome-wide and gene-focussed applications. Here we present the first individually cloned CRISPR-Cas9 genome wide arrayed sgRNA libraries covering 17,166 human and 20,430 mouse genes at a complexity of 34,332 sgRNAs for human and 40,860 sgRNAs for the mouse genome. For flexibility in generating stable cell lines the sgRNAs have been cloned in a lentivirus backbone containing PiggyBac transposase recognition elements together with fluorescent and drug selection markers. Over 95% of tested sgRNA induced specific DNA cleavage as measured by CEL-1 assays. Furthermore, sgRNA targeting GPI anchor protein pathway genes induced loss of function mutations in human and mouse cell lines measured by FLAER labelling. These arrayed libraries offer the prospect for performing screens on individual genes, combinations as well as larger gene sets. They also facilitate rapid deconvolution of signals from genome-wide screens. This set of vectors provide an organized comprehensive gene editing toolbox of considerable scientific value.