To identify therapeutic targets for glioblastoma (GBM), we performed genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 knockout (KO) screens in patient-derived GBM stem-like cells (GSCs) and human neural stem/progenitors (NSCs), non-neoplastic stem cell controls, for genes required for their in vitro growth. Surprisingly, the vast majority GSC-lethal hits were found outside of molecular networks commonly altered in GBM and GSCs (e.g., oncogenic drivers). In vitro and in vivo validation of GSC-specific targets revealed several strong hits, including the wee1-like kinase, PKMYT1/Myt1. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that PKMYT1 acts redundantly with WEE1 to inhibit cyclin B-CDK1 activity via CDK1-Y15 phosphorylation and to promote timely completion of mitosis in NSCs. However, in GSCs, this redundancy is lost, most likely as a result of oncogenic signaling, causing GBM-specific lethality.
- Cancer therapeutics
- Functional genomics
- Gene editing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)