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Genome-wide CRISPR screen identifies protein pathways modulating tau protein levels in neurons

Sanchez, Carlos, Acker, Chris, Gray, Audrey, Varadarajan, Malini, An, Shaojian, Paula, Steve, Lindeman, Alicia, Alford, John, Reece-Hoyes, John, Russ, Carsten, Cochran, Nadire, McAllister, Gregory, Craig, Lucas, Capre, Ketthsy, Doherty, Christian and Elwood, Fiona (2021) Genome-wide CRISPR screen identifies protein pathways modulating tau protein levels in neurons. Communications biology, 4 (1). p. 736. ISSN 23993642


Aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau protein are a pathological hallmark of more than 20 distinct neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and frontotemporal dementia. While the exact mechanism of tau aggregation is unknown, the accumulation of aggregates correlates with disease progression. Here we report a genome-wide CRISPR screen to identify modulators of endogenous tau protein for the first time. Primary screens performed in SH-SY5Y cells, identified positive and negative regulators of tau protein levels. Hit validation of the top 43 candidate genes was performed using Ngn2-induced human cortical excitatory neurons. Using this approach, genes and pathways involved in modulation of endogenous tau levels were identified, including chromatin modifying enzymes, neddylation and ubiquitin pathway members, and components of the mTOR pathway. TSC1, a critical component of the mTOR pathway, was further validated in vivo, demonstrating the relevance of this screening strategy. These findings may have implications for treating neurodegenerative diseases in the future.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2021 00:45
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2021 00:45


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