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CRISPR/Cas9 screens Reveal Dasatinib Targets of Inhibiting T cell Activation and Proliferation

By Mei Wang, Qilong Chen, Hailing Liu, Hao Chen, Binbin Wang, Wubing Zhang, Ailu Mading, Wenjing Li, Shuangqi Li, Hang Liu, ZhongKai Gu, Shuxian Liu, Rui Guo, Wei Li, Tengfei Xiao, Feizhen Wu

Posted 20 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/448662

Immune response by T cells is essential for a healthy body against cancer, infection, and pathophysiological alteration. The activation and expansion of T cells can be inhibited by dasatinib, a tyrosine inhibitor, thus improving the outcome of diseases, such as autoimmune disease, graft-versus-host disease, and transplant rejection. The underlying mechanism of inhibition by dasatinib is elusive. Here, we designed and synthesized a CRISPR/Cas9 screening library that includes 6,149 genes. Using the library, we performed dasatinib CRISPR/cas9 screening in Jurkat cell, a T lymphocyte cell. We firstly identified survival essential genes for Jurkat cells. Comparing with other CRISPR/Cas9 screenings, we obtained Jurkat cell specific essential genes. By comparing dasatinib treatment to control, we identified a set of dasatinib targets, which includes known targets: CSK, LCK, ZAP70, and previously unknown targets: ZFP36L2, LRPPRC, CFLAR, PD-1, CD45 et al. Visualizing these target genes on T cell receptor signaling pathway, we found several genes could be inhibited by dasatinib. Furthermore, we introduced a framework, 9-square, to classify genes and found a group of genes that are associated with dasatinib resistance, possibly linking the side effects of dasatinib. These data reveal a set of dasatinib targets and demonstrate the molecular potential functions of dasatinib. Identification of dasatinib targets will broaden our understanding to its molecular mechanism, and thus benefits to clinical outcome.

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