CRISPR/Cas9 is becoming an increasingly important tool to functionally annotate genomes. However, because genome-wide CRISPR libraries are mostly constructed in lentiviral vectors, in vivo applications are severely limited as a result of difficulties in delivery. Here, we examined the piggyBac (PB) transposon as an alternative vehicle to deliver a guide RNA (gRNA) library for in vivo screening. Although tumor induction has previously been achieved in mice by targeting cancer genes with the CRISPR/Cas9 system, in vivo genome-scale screening has not been reported. With our PB-CRISPR libraries, we conducted an in vivo genome-wide screen in mice and identified genes mediating liver tumorigenesis, including known and unknown tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). Our results demonstrate that PB can be a simple and nonviral choice for efficient in vivo delivery of CRISPR libraries.
Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9; liver cancer; piggyBac transposon; screening; tumorigenesis.