Genome-wide CRISPR screens for the identification of therapeutic targets for cancer treatment

Vivian Weiwen Xue, Sze Chuen Cesar Wong, William Chi Shing Cho

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Exploring the function of every gene is a challenging task. There is a paradigm shift of RNA interference with the introduction of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-based genome-wide screening. CRISPR-based screening can detect the loss-of-function and gain-of-function targets. Many DNA-binding proteins are engineered as effective tools for modulating gene expression and for investigating therapeutic targets for a spectrum of diseases. Among them, CRISPR-Cas9 has received extensive attention with its potential for screening cancer treatment targets. Areas covered: This article reviews CRISPR toolkit and its applications in screening cancer therapeutic targets, especially genome-wide screens using different CRISPR-Cas9 systems. We compare and summarize the characteristics of CRISPR systems, which would be helpful for understanding and optimizing current CRISPR toolkits, as well as reflecting on the potential future development and clinical applications of CRISPR screens. Expert opinion: The application of CRISPR-based therapeutic target screening is broadly used in cancer drug development. Its application in cancer immunotherapy and precision oncology is blooming. Nevertheless, more effective methods of Cas protein delivery and the development of more accurate and efficient genome-editing tools are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • cancer therapeutic targets
  • cas9 complex
  • genome-wide screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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