Cancer is one of the leading causes of disease-related mortality, which is becoming more prevalent throughout the world. The prevention and treatment of many cancers have also advanced, increasing survival rates or even curing some of them. An enhanced comprehension of the underpinning tumour biology has been a key tenet of innovation in cancer therapy. One of such technologies that has substantially expedited genome engineering is the invention of CRISPR/Cas9 (First discovered in E. coli in 1987, clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats).
The CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing system is a straightforward yet effective method that can target certain regions of genetic code for editing, enabling researchers to precisely make nucleotide alterations, deletions, insertions, and other genomic or epigenomic changes in cells. CRISPR/Cas9 screens are also an effective functional genomics approach for identifying new cancer therapeutic targets. A cell population containing a variety of gene knockouts must be produced for CRISPR/Cas9 pooled screening.
Cancer research, both basic and translational, has yet to fully realize the full potential of CRISPR/Cas9. The majority of cancer cell lines will soon have a comprehensive set of critical genes because of pooling CRISPR screens. With the help of this resource and the already existing knowledge on the genetic and epigenetic properties of cancer cell lines, it will be possible to thoroughly identify synthetic lethal interactions and make it easier to find new drug targets.
Future applications of CRISPR/Cas9 in translational medicine will largely depend on the capacity to create Cas9 variants with few to no off-target effects and on new techniques to enhance the now ineffective engineering of precise genomic alterations via homology directed repair. Furthermore, future advancements in viral and non-viral delivery techniques will be required to enhance the in vivo application of CRISPR/Cas9, setting the foundation for the therapeutic use of CRISPR in the future. In conclusion, the advancement of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has tremendously accelerated and will continue to speed cancer research in various fields.
Kalinga Plus is an initiative by Kalinga University, Raipur. The main objective of this to disseminate knowledge and guide students & working professionals.
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