I recently joined the webinar from Judd Hultquist to learn more about CRISPR screenings. I wanted to know how genome editing can be used for research and therapeutic approaches in HIV. Large scale RNAi-based screenings can be automated and are very common to identify host dependent factors (HDF), which viruses need for entry, replication and transmission. Many of these screens are done with standard cell lines like HEK293 or CHO cells with a high number of false positive candidates with low or no reproducibility in the natural host of HIV. In this article, Hultquist used the primary T cells for the screen and demonstrates that CRISPR-based genetic screens in physiologically relevant cells can specifically identify non-essential host proteins critical for viral infection.
Applying this approach to other pandemic and epidemic viruses will allow robust and unbiased identification of novel therapeutic targets. Here you find the link to the Nature Genetics publication.
With improved computer models, automated systems and 96-well ShuttleTM Device for transfection, the group will publish new data soon. The latest results of the CRISPR screen Judd Hultquist presented was recently shared in the following webinar: High-throughput CRISPR CAS9 genome engineering primary cells.
Written by Peter
Manager Scientific Support, Lonza Pharma- Bioscience Solutions at Lonza