CRISPR, is a family of DNA sequences in bacteria that contains snippets of DNA from viruses that have attacked the bacterium. These snippets are used by the bacterium to detect and destroy DNA from further attacks by similar viruses. These sequences play a key role in a bacterial defence system, and form the basis of a genome editing technology known as CRISPR/Cas9 that allows permanent modification of genes within organisms.
Genetic modification is an indispensable tool to study gene function in normal development and disease. The recent breakthrough of creating human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by defined factors (Takahashi et al., Cell 131:861-872, 2007) provides a renewable source of patient autologous cells that not only retain identical genetic information but also give rise to many cell types of the body including neurons and glia. Meanwhile, the rapid advancement of genome modification tools such as gene targeting by homologous recombination (Capecchi, Nat Rev Genet 6:507-512, 2005) and genome editing tools such as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)/Cas (CRISPR-associated) system, TALENs (Transcription activator-like effector nucleases), and ZFNs (Zinc finger nucleases) (Wang et al., Cell 153:910-918, 2013; Mali et al., Science 339:823-826, 2013; Hwang et al., Nat Biotechnol 31:227-229, 2013; Friedland et al., Nat Methods 10(8):741-743, 2013; DiCarlo et al., Nucleic Acids Res 41:4336-4343, 2013; Cong et al., Science 339:819-823, 2013) has greatly accelerated the development of human genome manipulation at the molecular level. This chapter describes the protocols for making neural lineage reporter lines using homologous recombination and the CRISPR/Cas system-mediated genome editing, including construction of targeting vectors, guide RNAs, transfection into hPSCs, and selection and verification of successfully targeted clones. This method can be applied to various needs of hPSC genetic engineering at high efficiency and high reliability 1).
Chow et al.e developed an adeno associated virus-mediated, autochthonous genetic CRISPR screen in glioblastoma. Stereotaxic delivery of a virus library targeting genes commonly mutated in human cancers into the brains of conditional-Cas9 mice resulted in tumors that recapitulate human glioblastoma. Capture sequencing revealed diverse mutational profiles across tumors. The mutation frequencies in mice correlated with those in two independent patient cohorts. Co-mutation analysis identified co-occurring driver combinations such as B2m-Nf1, Mll3-Nf1 and Zc3h13-Rb1, which were subsequently validated using AAV minipools. Distinct from Nf1-mutant tumors, Rb1-mutant tumors are undifferentiated and aberrantly express homeobox gene clusters. The addition of Zc3h13 or Pten mutations altered the gene expression profiles of Rb1 mutants, rendering them more resistant to temozolomide. The study provides a functional landscape of gliomagenesis suppressors in vivo 2).