High-throughput in situ cell electroporation microsystem for parallel delivery of single guide RNAs into mammalian cells.
ABSTRACT: Arrayed genetic screens mediated by the CRISPR/Cas9 technology with single guide RNA (sgRNA) libraries demand a high-throughput platform capable of transfecting diverse cell types at a high efficiency in a genome-wide scale for detection and analysis of sophisticated cellular phenotypes. Here we developed a high-throughput in situ cell electroporation (HiCEP) microsystem which leveraged the superhydrophobic feature of the microwell array to achieve individually controlled conditions in each microwell and coupled an interdigital electrode array chip with the microwells in a modular-based scheme for highly efficient delivery of exogenous molecules into cells. Two plasmids encoding enhanced green and red fluorescent proteins (EGFP and ERFP), respectively, were successfully electroporated into attached HeLa cells on a 169-microwell array chip with transfection efficiencies of 71.6?±?11.4% and 62.9?±?2.7%, and a cell viability above 95%. We also successfully conducted selective electroporation of sgRNA into 293T cells expressing the Cas9 nuclease in a high-throughput manner and observed the four-fold increase of the GFP intensities due to the repair of the protein coding sequences mediated by the CRISPR/Cas9 system. This study proved that this HiCEP system has the great potential to be used for arrayed functional screens with genome-wide CRISPR libraries on hard-to-transfect cells in the future.
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.
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 have combined a machine-learning approach with other strategies to optimize knockout efficiency with the CRISPR/Cas9 system. In addition, we have developed a multiplexed sgRNA expression strategy that promotes the functional ablation of single genes and allows for combinatorial targeting. These strategies have been combined to design and construct a genome-wide, sequence-verified, arrayed CRISPR library. This resource allows single-target or combinatorial genetic screens to be carried out at scale in a multiplexed or arrayed format. By conducting parallel loss-of-function screens, we compare our approach to existing sgRNA design and expression strategies.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas9 technology has transformed mouse genome editing with unprecedented precision, efficiency, and ease; however, the current practice of microinjecting CRISPR reagents into pronuclear-stage embryos remains rate-limiting. We thus developed CRISPR ribonucleoprotein (RNP) electroporation of zygotes (CRISPR-EZ), an electroporation-based technology that outperforms pronuclear and cytoplasmic microinjection in efficiency, simplicity, cost, and throughput. In C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N mouse strains, CRISPR-EZ achieves 100% delivery of Cas9/single-guide RNA (sgRNA) RNPs, facilitating indel mutations (insertions or deletions), exon deletions, point mutations, and small insertions. In a side-by-side comparison in the high-throughput KnockOut Mouse Project (KOMP) pipeline, CRISPR-EZ consistently outperformed microinjection. Here, we provide an optimized protocol covering sgRNA synthesis, embryo collection, RNP electroporation, mouse generation, and genotyping strategies. Using CRISPR-EZ, a graduate-level researcher with basic embryo-manipulation skills can obtain genetically modified mice in 6 weeks. Altogether, CRISPR-EZ is a simple, economic, efficient, and high-throughput technology that is potentially applicable to other mammalian species.
Project description:Pooled CRISPR screens based on lentiviral systems have been widely applied to identify the effect of gene knockout on cellular phenotype. Although many screens were successful, they also have the limitation that genes conferring mild phenotypes or those essential for growth can be overlooked, as every genetic perturbation is incorporated in the same population. Arrayed screens, on the other hand, incorporate a single genetic perturbation in each well and could overcome these limitations. However, arrayed screens based on siRNA-mediated knockdown were recently criticized for low reproducibility caused by incomplete inhibition of gene expression. To overcome these limitations, we developed a novel arrayed CRISPR screen based on a plasmid library expressing a single guide RNA (sgRNA) and disrupted 1514 genes, encoding kinases, proteins related to endocytosis, and Golgi-localized proteins, individually using 4542 sgRNAs (three sgRNAs per gene). This screen revealed host factors required for infection by coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) from Picornaviridae, which includes human pathogens causing diverse diseases. Many host factors that had been overlooked in a conventional pooled screen were identified for CVB3 infection, including entry-related factors, translational initiation factors, and several replication factors with different functions, demonstrating the advantage of the arrayed screen. This screen was quite reliable and reproducible, as most genes identified in the primary screen were confirmed in secondary screens. Moreover, ACBD3, whose phenotype was not affected by siRNA-mediated knockdown, was reliably identified. We propose that arrayed CRISPR screens based on sgRNA plasmid libraries are powerful tools for arrayed genetic screening and applicable to larger-scale screens.
Project description:The CRISPR-Cas9 system has revolutionized gene editing both at single genes and in multiplexed loss-of-function screens, thus enabling precise genome-scale identification of genes essential for proliferation and survival of cancer cells. However, previous studies have reported that a gene-independent antiproliferative effect of Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage confounds such measurement of genetic dependency, thereby leading to false-positive results in copy number-amplified regions. We developed CERES, a computational method to estimate gene-dependency levels from CRISPR-Cas9 essentiality screens while accounting for the copy number-specific effect. In our efforts to define a cancer dependency map, we performed genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9 essentiality screens across 342 cancer cell lines and applied CERES to this data set. We found that CERES decreased false-positive results and estimated sgRNA activity for both this data set and previously published screens performed with different sgRNA libraries. We further demonstrate the utility of this collection of screens, after CERES correction, for identifying cancer-type-specific vulnerabilities.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas9-based gene knockout libraries have emerged as a powerful tool for functional screens. We present here a set of pre-designed human and mouse sgRNA sequences that are optimized for both high on-target potency and low off-target effect. To maximize the chance of target gene inactivation, sgRNAs were curated to target both 5? constitutive exons and exons that encode conserved protein domains. We describe here a robust and cost-effective method to construct multiple small sized CRISPR library from a single oligo pool generated by array synthesis using parallel oligonucleotide retrieval. Together, these resources provide a convenient means for individual labs to generate customized CRISPR libraries of variable size and coverage depth for functional genomics application.
Project description:Large-scale genetic screens using CRISPR/Cas9 technology have emerged as a major tool for functional genomics. With its increased popularity, experimental biologists frequently acquire large sequencing datasets for which they often do not have an easy analysis option. While a few bioinformatic tools have been developed for this purpose, their utility is still hindered either due to limited functionality or the requirement of bioinformatic expertise. To make sequencing data analysis of CRISPR/Cas9 screens more accessible to a wide range of scientists, we developed a Platform-independent Analysis of Pooled Screens using Python (PinAPL-Py), which is operated as an intuitive web-service. PinAPL-Py implements state-of-the-art tools and statistical models, assembled in a comprehensive workflow covering sequence quality control, automated sgRNA sequence extraction, alignment, sgRNA enrichment/depletion analysis and gene ranking. The workflow is set up to use a variety of popular sgRNA libraries as well as custom libraries that can be easily uploaded. Various analysis options are offered, suitable to analyze a large variety of CRISPR/Cas9 screening experiments. Analysis output includes ranked lists of sgRNAs and genes, and publication-ready plots. PinAPL-Py helps to advance genome-wide screening efforts by combining comprehensive functionality with user-friendly implementation. PinAPL-Py is freely accessible at http://pinapl-py.ucsd.edu with instructions and test datasets.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a versatile tool for functional genomics and forward genetic screens in mammalian cells. However, it has been challenging to deliver the CRISPR components to sensitive cell types, such as primary human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), partly due to lentiviral transduction of Cas9 being extremely inefficient in these cells. Here, to overcome these hurdles, we developed a combinatorial system using stable lentiviral delivery of single guide RNA (sgRNA) followed by transient transfection of Cas9 mRNA by electroporation in human cord blood-derived CD34<sup>+</sup> HSPCs. We further applied an optimized sgRNA structure, that significantly improved editing efficiency in this context, and we obtained knockout levels reaching 90% for the cell surface proteins CD45 and CD44 in sgRNA transduced HSPCs. Our combinatorial CRISPR/Cas9 delivery approach had no negative influence on CD34 expression or colony forming capacity in vitro compared to non-treated HSPCs. Furthermore, gene edited HSPCs showed intact in vivo reconstitution capacity following transplantation to immunodeficient mice. Taken together, we developed a paradigm for combinatorial CRISPR/Cas9 delivery that enables efficient and traceable gene editing in primary human HSPCs, and is compatible with high functionality both in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:Several groups have used genome-wide libraries of lentiviruses encoding small guide RNAs (sgRNAs) for genetic screens. In most cases, sgRNA expression cassettes are integrated into cells by using lentiviruses, and target genes are statistically estimated by the readout of sgRNA sequences after targeted sequencing. We present a new virus-free method for human gene knockout screens using a genome-wide library of CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNAs based on plasmids and target gene identification via whole-genome sequencing (WGS) confirmation of authentic mutations rather than statistical estimation through targeted amplicon sequencing. We used 30,840 pairs of individually synthesized oligonucleotides to construct the genome-scale sgRNA library, collectively targeting 10,280 human genes (i.e. three sgRNAs per gene). These plasmid libraries were co-transfected with a Cas9-expression plasmid into human cells, which were then treated with cytotoxic drugs or viruses. Only cells lacking key factors essential for cytotoxic drug metabolism or viral infection were able to survive. Genomic DNA isolated from cells that survived these challenges was subjected to WGS to directly identify CRISPR/Cas9-mediated causal mutations essential for cell survival. With this approach, we were able to identify known and novel genes essential for viral infection in human cells. We propose that genome-wide sgRNA screens based on plasmids coupled with WGS are powerful tools for forward genetics studies and drug target discovery.