Targeted genomic CRISPR-Cas9 screen identifies MAP4K4 as essential for glioblastoma invasion.
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Among high-grade brain tumors, glioblastoma is particularly difficult to treat, in part due to its highly infiltrative nature which contributes to the malignant phenotype and high mortality in patients. In order to better understand the signaling pathways underlying glioblastoma invasion, we performed the first large-scale CRISPR-Cas9 loss of function screen specifically designed to identify genes that facilitate cell invasion. We tested 4,574 genes predicted to be involved in trafficking and motility. Using a transwell invasion assay, we discovered 33 genes essential for invasion. Of the 11 genes we selected for secondary testing using a wound healing assay, 6 demonstrated a significant decrease in migration. The strongest regulator of invasion was mitogen-activated protein kinase 4 (MAP4K4). Targeting of MAP4K4 with single guide RNAs or a MAP4K4 inhibitor reduced migration and invasion in vitro. This effect was consistent across three additional patient derived glioblastoma cell lines. Analysis of epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers in U138 cells with lack or inhibition of MAP4K4 demonstrated protein expression consistent with a non-invasive state. Importantly, MAP4K4 inhibition limited migration in a subset of human glioma organotypic slice cultures. Our results identify MAP4K4 as a novel potential therapeutic target to limit glioblastoma invasion.
Published Version (Please cite this version)
Prolo, Laura M, Amy Li, Scott F Owen, Jonathon J Parker, Kara Foshay, Ryan T Nitta, David W Morgens, Sara Bolin, et al. (2019). Targeted genomic CRISPR-Cas9 screen identifies MAP4K4 as essential for glioblastoma invasion. Scientific reports, 9(1). p. 14020. 10.1038/s41598-019-50160-w Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25894.
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