Utility of CRISPR/Cas9 systems in hematology research.
Since the end of the 20th century, novel approaches have emerged to manipulate experimental models of hematological disorders so that they more accurately mirror what is observed in the clinical setting. Despite these technological advances, the characterization of crucial genes for benign or malignant hematological disorders remains challenging, given the dynamic nature of the hematopoietic system and the genetic heterogeneity of these disorders. To overcome this limitation, genome-editing technologies have been developed to manipulate the genome specifically via deletion, insertion, or modification of targeted loci. These technologies have progressed swiftly, allowing their common use to investigate genetic function in experimental hematology. Among them, homologous-recombination-mediated targeting technologies have facilitated the manipulation of specific loci by generating knock-out and knock-in models. Despite promoting significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in hematology, these inefficient, time-consuming, and labor-intensive approaches did not permit the development of cellular or animal models, recapitulating the complexity of hematological disorders. On October 26, 2016, Drs. Ben Ebert and Chad Cowan shared their knowledge of and experience with the utilization of CRISPR for models of myeloid malignancy, disease, and novel therapeutics in an International Society for Experimental Hematology webinar titled "Utility of CRISPR/Cas9 Systems in Hematology Research." Here, we provide an overview of the topics they covered, including their insights into the novel applications of the technique and its strengths and limitations.
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