CRISPR screening is a transformative technology that utilizes the power of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to identify and validate novel drug targets. While significant progress has been made carrying out CRISPR screens in immortalized cell lines, a more physiological and clinically relevant alternative are human primary cells.

Horizon Discovery broadly employs two CRISPR screening formats in target ID and validation studies in human primary cells: pooled and arrayed, which can be utilized to answer a plethora of research questions.

Pooled screens offer a scalable technique using next generation sequencing (NGS) involving the introduction of a single guide RNA (sgRNA)s pool to a single population of cells. Pooled screens facilitate large genome-wide or gene families screening. Arrayed screens comprise of a single gene that is targeted in each well of a multi well plate. Arrayed screens allow multiplex phenotypic endpoints to be analyzed well-by-well, enabling cellular profiling according to the knockout of each gene.

Edited immune cells can be assessed phenotypically using one of our immune cell assays. For this purpose Horizon offers several assays that can be combined with CRISPR edited cells. This includes custom and standardized assays, such as MLR, CDC and T cell activation assays. Horizon Discovery offers CRISPR-Cas9 screening in immune cells which will support the elucidation of the role of immune cells in cancer immunity, autoimmune diseases, and immune mechanisms, as well as drug discovery. This has the potential to accelerate the identification of new therapeutics and reduce the chance of late-stage failures in the clinic.



Speaker:  Kalvin Sahota, Ph.D Senior Scientist, Cell Based Screening – Immunology, Horizon Discovery