We have been developing CRISPR-directed gene editing as an augmentative therapy for the treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) by genetic disruption of Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2-Related Factor 2 (NRF2). NRF2 promotes tumor cell survival in response to therapeutic intervention and thus its disablement should restore or enhance effective drug action. Here, we report how NRF2 disruption leads to collateral damage in the form of CRISPR-mediated exon skipping. Heterogeneous populations of transcripts and truncated proteins produce a variable response to chemotherapy, dependent on which functional domain is missing. We identify and characterize predicted and unpredicted transcript populations and discover that several types of transcripts arise through exon skipping; wherein one or two NRF2 exons are missing. In one specific case, the presence or absence of a single nucleotide determines whether an exon is skipped or not by reorganizing Exonic Splicing Enhancers (ESEs). We isolate and characterize the diversity of clones induced by CRISPR activity in a NSCLC tumor cell population, a critical and often overlooked genetic byproduct of this exciting technology. Finally, gRNAs must be designed with care to avoid altering gene expression patterns that can account for variable responses to solid tumor therapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Jun 2022|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology