Publications by authors named "Kendall R Sanson"

5 Publications

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Massively parallel assessment of human variants with base editor screens.

Cell 2021 Feb;184(4):1064-1080.e20

Genetic Perturbation Platform, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. Electronic address:

Understanding the functional consequences of single-nucleotide variants is critical to uncovering the genetic underpinnings of diseases, but technologies to characterize variants are limiting. Here, we leverage CRISPR-Cas9 cytosine base editors in pooled screens to scalably assay variants at endogenous loci in mammalian cells. We benchmark the performance of base editors in positive and negative selection screens, identifying known loss-of-function mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 with high precision. To demonstrate the utility of base editor screens to probe small molecule-protein interactions, we screen against BH3 mimetics and PARP inhibitors, identifying point mutations that confer drug sensitivity or resistance. We also create a library of single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) predicted to generate 52,034 ClinVar variants in 3,584 genes and conduct screens in the presence of cellular stressors, identifying loss-of-function variants in numerous DNA damage repair genes. We anticipate that this screening approach will be broadly useful to readily and scalably functionalize genetic variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.01.012DOI Listing
February 2021

Optimization of AsCas12a for combinatorial genetic screens in human cells.

Nat Biotechnol 2021 01 13;39(1):94-104. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Genetic Perturbation Platform, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Cas12a RNA-guided endonucleases are promising tools for multiplexed genetic perturbations because they can process multiple guide RNAs expressed as a single transcript, and subsequently cleave target DNA. However, their widespread adoption has lagged behind Cas9-based strategies due to low activity and the lack of a well-validated pooled screening toolkit. In the present study, we describe the optimization of enhanced Cas12a from Acidaminococcus (enAsCas12a) for pooled, combinatorial genetic screens in human cells. By assaying the activity of thousands of guides, we refine on-target design rules and develop a comprehensive set of off-target rules to predict and exclude promiscuous guides. We also identify 38 direct repeat variants that can substitute for the wild-type sequence. We validate our optimized AsCas12a toolkit by screening for synthetic lethalities in OVCAR8 and A375 cancer cells, discovering an interaction between MARCH5 and WSB2. Finally, we show that enAsCas12a delivers similar performance to Cas9 in genome-wide dropout screens but at greatly reduced library size, which will facilitate screens in challenging models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41587-020-0600-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7854777PMC
January 2021

Genetic screens in isogenic mammalian cell lines without single cell cloning.

Nat Commun 2020 02 6;11(1):752. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Genetic Perturbation Platform, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 75 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA, 02142, USA.

Isogenic pairs of cell lines, which differ by a single genetic modification, are powerful tools for understanding gene function. Generating such pairs of mammalian cells, however, is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and, in some cell types, essentially impossible. Here, we present an approach to create isogenic pairs of cells that avoids single cell cloning, and screen these pairs with genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 libraries to generate genetic interaction maps. We query the anti-apoptotic genes BCL2L1 and MCL1, and the DNA damage repair gene PARP1, identifying both expected and uncharacterized buffering and synthetic lethal interactions. Additionally, we compare acute CRISPR-based knockout, single cell clones, and small-molecule inhibition. We observe that, while the approaches provide largely overlapping information, differences emerge, highlighting an important consideration when employing genetic screens to identify and characterize potential drug targets. We anticipate that this methodology will be broadly useful to comprehensively study gene function across many contexts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14620-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7005275PMC
February 2020

Optimized libraries for CRISPR-Cas9 genetic screens with multiple modalities.

Nat Commun 2018 12 21;9(1):5416. Epub 2018 Dec 21.

Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, 75 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA, 02142, USA.

The creation of genome-wide libraries for CRISPR knockout (CRISPRko), interference (CRISPRi), and activation (CRISPRa) has enabled the systematic interrogation of gene function. Here, we show that our recently-described CRISPRko library (Brunello) is more effective than previously published libraries at distinguishing essential and non-essential genes, providing approximately the same perturbation-level performance improvement over GeCKO libraries as GeCKO provided over RNAi. Additionally, we present genome-wide libraries for CRISPRi (Dolcetto) and CRISPRa (Calabrese), and show in negative selection screens that Dolcetto, with fewer sgRNAs per gene, outperforms existing CRISPRi libraries and achieves comparable performance to CRISPRko in detecting essential genes. We also perform positive selection CRISPRa screens and demonstrate that Calabrese outperforms the SAM approach at identifying vemurafenib resistance genes. We further compare CRISPRa to genome-scale libraries of open reading frames (ORFs). Together, these libraries represent a suite of genome-wide tools to efficiently interrogate gene function with multiple modalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07901-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303322PMC
December 2018

Orthologous CRISPR-Cas9 enzymes for combinatorial genetic screens.

Nat Biotechnol 2018 02 18;36(2):179-189. Epub 2017 Dec 18.

Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Combinatorial genetic screening using CRISPR-Cas9 is a useful approach to uncover redundant genes and to explore complex gene networks. However, current methods suffer from interference between the single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) and from limited gene targeting activity. To increase the efficiency of combinatorial screening, we employ orthogonal Cas9 enzymes from Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. We used machine learning to establish S. aureus Cas9 sgRNA design rules and paired S. aureus Cas9 with S. pyogenes Cas9 to achieve dual targeting in a high fraction of cells. We also developed a lentiviral vector and cloning strategy to generate high-complexity pooled dual-knockout libraries to identify synthetic lethal and buffering gene pairs across multiple cell types, including MAPK pathway genes and apoptotic genes. Our orthologous approach also enabled a screen combining gene knockouts with transcriptional activation, which revealed genetic interactions with TP53. The "Big Papi" (paired aureus and pyogenes for interactions) approach described here will be widely applicable for the study of combinatorial phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt.4048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800952PMC
February 2018