Decoding directional genetic dependencies through orthogonal CRISPR/Cas screens

Gene expression network map

Image courtesy of S. Mohammad, H.Oloomi via Wikimedia Commons

Boettcher M, Tian R, Blau J, Markegard E, Wu D, Biton A, Zaitlen N, McCormick F, Kampmann M, McManus M.


March 25, 2017

Genetic interaction studies are a powerful approach to identify functional interactions between genes. This approach can reveal networks of regulatory hubs and connect uncharacterized genes to well-studied pathways. However, this approach has previously been limited to simple gene inactivation studies. Here, we present an orthogonal CRISPR/Cas-mediated genetic interaction approach that allows the systematic activation of one gene while simultaneously knocking out a second gene in the same cell. We have developed this concept into a quantitative and scalable combinatorial screening platform that allows the parallel interrogation of hundreds of thousands of genetic interactions. We demonstrate that the established platform works robustly to uncover genetic interactions in human cancer cells and to interpret the direction of the flow of genetic information.

Last updated: January 26, 2019