Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent a huge reservoir of potential cancer targets. Such "onco-lncRNAs" have resisted traditional RNAi methods, but CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing now promises functional screens at high throughput and low cost. The unique biology of lncRNAs demands screening strategies distinct from protein-coding genes. The first such screens have identified hundreds of onco-lncRNAs promoting cell proliferation and drug resistance. Ongoing developments will further improve screen performance and translational relevance. This Review aims to highlight the potential of CRISPR screening technology for discovering new onco-lncRNAs, and to guide molecular oncologists wishing to apply it to their cancer of interest.
Keywords: CRISPR-Cas9; cancer; drug targets; genome editing; lncRNA; long non-coding RNA; screening.
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