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Genome-scale transcriptional activation by an engineered CRISPR-Cas9 complex

Systematic interrogation of gene function requires the ability to perturb gene expression in a robust and generalizable manner. Here we describe structure-guided engineering of a CRISPR-Cas9 complex to mediate efficient transcriptional activation at endogenous genomic loci. We used these engineered Cas9 activation complexes to investigate single-guide RNA (sgRNA) targeting rules for effective transcriptional activation, to demonstrate multiplexed activation of ten genes simultaneously, and to upregulate long intergenic non-coding RNA (lincRNA) transcripts. We also synthesized a library consisting of 70,290 guides targeting all human RefSeq coding isoforms to screen for genes that, upon activation, confer resistance to a BRAF inhibitor. The top hits included genes previously shown to be able to confer resistance, and novel candidates were validated using individual sgRNA and complementary DNA overexpression. A gene expression signature based on the top screening hits correlated with markers of BRAF inhibitor resistance in cell lines and patient-derived samples. These results collectively demonstrate the potential of Cas9-based activators as a powerful genetic perturbation technology.

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Cat.No. Product Name Information Publications Customer Product Validation
S1152 PLX-4720 PLX4720 is a potent and selective inhibitor of B-RafV600E with IC50 of 13 nM in a cell-free assay, equally potent to c-Raf-1(Y340D and Y341D mutations), 10-fold selectivity for B-RafV600E than wild-type B-Raf. (114) (10)

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Raf