CRISPR and transposon in vivo screens for cancer drivers and therapeutic targets
Abstract: Human cancers harbor substantial genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptional changes, only some of which drive oncogenesis at certain times during cancer evolution. Identifying the cancer-driver alterations amongst the vast swathes of “passenger” changes still remains a major challenge. Transposon and CRISPR screens in vivo provide complementary methods for achieving this, and each platform has its own advantages. Here, we review recent major technological breakthroughs made with these two approaches and highlight future directions. We discuss how each genetic screening platform can provide unique insight into cancer evolution, including intra-tumoral heterogeneity, metastasis, and immune evasion, presenting transformative opportunities for targeted therapeutic intervention.