Expert view: CRISPR screening: a powerful approach to drug discovery and development
CRISPR screening utilises the power and precision of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to reveal and validate novel drug targets or to study the underlying causes of disease.
It is also used to explore the effect of genetic mutations on drug activity, patient responsiveness and resistance.
This screening method uses CRISPR-Cas9 technology to modify and assess the function of thousands of genes in a single experiment, allowing researchers to quickly identify the genes relevant to a specific biological pathway. The most common approach, CRISPR KO (knockout) delivers complete gene inactivation, while CRISPRi (inactivate) and CRISPRa (activate) are used to target the endogenous gene at the transcriptional initiation site. These mechanisms can be combined to deliver dual loss-of-function or dual direction screening, conducted in either a pooled or arrayed format.