Scientists Develop Rapid Gene-Editing Screen to Find Effects of Cancer Mutations

With the new technique, MIT researchers hope to identify mutations that could be targeted with new cancer therapies. “Approach based on prime editing has the potential to change everything.”

Tumors can carry mutations in hundreds of different genes, and each of those genes may be mutated in different ways — some mutations simply replace one DNA nucleotide with another, while others insert or delete larger sections of DNA. Until now, there has been no way to quickly and easily screen each of those mutations in their natural setting to see what role they may play in the development, progression, and treatment response of a tumor. Using a variant of CRISPR genome-editing known as prime editing, MIT researchers have now come up with a way to screen those mutations much more easily.

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