Using CRISPR, biologists find a way to comprehensively identify anti-cancer drug targets

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

The spikes indicate the degree to which blocking specific receptors will cause cancer cells to die. Credit: Vakoc Lab, CSHL Imagine having a complete catalog of the best drug targets to hit in a particularly deadly form of cancer. That experience got us thinking, explains Vakoc, Is there a way we can look at hundreds or thousands of proteins at a time in a given cancer cell type - proteins with druggable binding pockets—and in a single experiment find more BRD4s? More broadly, what we provide is a way to comprehensively identify specific vulnerabilities in cancer cells, across cancer types. My lab is focused on finding a small number of these binding pockets - ones whose function cancer cells are addicted to, Vakoc says.

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