Genome-wide CRISPR screening reveals genes essential for cell viability and resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses in Bombyx mori.
ABSTRACT: High-throughput genetic screens are powerful methods to interrogate gene function on a genome-wide scale and identify genes responsible to certain stresses. Here, we developed a piggyBac strategy to deliver pooled sgRNA libraries stably into cell lines. We used this strategy to conduct a screen based on genome-wide clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat technology (CRISPR)-Cas9 in Bombyx mori cells. We first constructed a single guide RNA (sgRNA) library containing 94,000 sgRNAs, which targeted 16,571 protein-coding genes. We then generated knockout collections in BmE cells using the piggyBac transposon. We identified 1006 genes that are essential for cell viability under normal growth conditions. Of the identified genes, 82.4% (829 genes) were homologous to essential genes in seven animal species. We also identified 838 genes whose loss facilitated cell growth. Next, we performed context-specific positive screens for resistance to biotic or nonbiotic stresses using temperature and baculovirus separately, which identified several key genes and pathways from each screen. Collectively, our results provide a novel and versatile platform for functional annotations of B. mori genomes and deciphering key genes responsible for various conditions. This study also shows the effectiveness, practicality, and convenience of genome-wide CRISPR screens in nonmodel organisms.
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: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: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.
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:The CRISPR/Cas9 system has revolutionized mammalian somatic cell genetics. Genome-wide functional screens using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout or dCas9 fusion-mediated inhibition/activation (CRISPRi/a) are powerful techniques for discovering phenotype-associated gene function. We systematically assessed the DNA sequence features that contribute to single guide RNA (sgRNA) efficiency in CRISPR-based screens. Leveraging the information from multiple designs, we derived a new sequence model for predicting sgRNA efficiency in CRISPR/Cas9 knockout experiments. Our model confirmed known features and suggested new features including a preference for cytosine at the cleavage site. The model was experimentally validated for sgRNA-mediated mutation rate and protein knockout efficiency. Tested on independent data sets, the model achieved significant results in both positive and negative selection conditions and outperformed existing models. We also found that the sequence preference for CRISPRi/a is substantially different from that for CRISPR/Cas9 knockout and propose a new model for predicting sgRNA efficiency in CRISPRi/a experiments. These results facilitate the genome-wide design of improved sgRNA for both knockout and CRISPRi/a studies.
Project description:Human T cells are central effectors of immunity and cancer immunotherapy. CRISPR-based functional studies in T cells could prioritize novel targets for drug development and improve the design of genetically reprogrammed cell-based therapies. However, large-scale CRISPR screens have been challenging in primary human cells. We developed a new method, single guide RNA (sgRNA) lentiviral infection with Cas9 protein electroporation (SLICE), to identify regulators of stimulation responses in primary human T cells. Genome-wide loss-of-function screens identified essential T cell receptor signaling components and genes that negatively tune proliferation following stimulation. Targeted ablation of individual candidate genes characterized hits and identified perturbations that enhanced cancer cell killing. SLICE coupled with single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) revealed signature stimulation-response gene programs altered by key genetic perturbations. SLICE genome-wide screening was also adaptable to identify mediators of immunosuppression, revealing genes controlling responses to adenosine signaling. The SLICE platform enables unbiased discovery and characterization of functional gene targets in primary cells.
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:BACKGROUND:Genome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 technology allows large-scale screening of gene essentiality in cancer. A confounding factor when interpreting CRISPR-Cas9 screens is the high false-positive rate in detecting essential genes within copy number amplified regions of the genome. We have developed the computational tool CRISPRcleanR which is capable of identifying and correcting gene-independent responses to CRISPR-Cas9 targeting. CRISPRcleanR uses an unsupervised approach based on the segmentation of single-guide RNA fold change values across the genome, without making any assumption about the copy number status of the targeted genes. RESULTS:Applying our method to existing and newly generated genome-wide essentiality profiles from 15 cancer cell lines, we demonstrate that CRISPRcleanR reduces false positives when calling essential genes, correcting biases within and outside of amplified regions, while maintaining true positive rates. Established cancer dependencies and essentiality signals of amplified cancer driver genes are detectable post-correction. CRISPRcleanR reports sgRNA fold changes and normalised read counts, is therefore compatible with downstream analysis tools, and works with multiple sgRNA libraries. CONCLUSIONS:CRISPRcleanR is a versatile open-source tool for the analysis of CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screens to identify essential genes.
Project description:CRISPR-Cas9-based screening with single-guide RNA (sgRNA) libraries has emerged as a revolutionary tool for comprehensive analysis of genetic elements. However, genome-scale sgRNA libraries are currently available only in a few model organisms. The traditional approach is to synthesize thousands to tens of thousands of sgRNAs, which is laborious and expensive. We have developed a simple method, RELATe (restriction/ligation coupled with Agrobacterium-mediated transformation), to generate sgRNA libraries from 10 ?g of genomic DNA, targeting over 98% of the protein-coding genes in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans Functional screens identified 142 potential C. neoformans genes contributing to blood-brain barrier penetration. We selected two cryptococcal genes, SFP1 and WDR1, for a proof-of-concept demonstration that RELATe-identified genes are relevant to C. neoformans central nervous system infection. Our RELATe method can be used in many other fungal species and is powerful and cost-effective for genome-wide high-throughput screening for elucidating functional genomics.
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.