Genetic interaction networks in cancer cells

Barbara Mair, Jason Moffat, Charles Boone, Brenda J Andrews
Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 2019, 54: 64-72
The genotype-to-phenotype relationship in health and disease is complex and influenced by both an individual's environment and their unique genome. Personal genetic variants can modulate gene function to generate a phenotype either through a single gene effect or through genetic interactions involving two or more genes. The relevance of genetic interactions to disease phenotypes has been particularly clear in cancer research, where an extreme genetic interaction, synthetic lethality, has been exploited as a therapeutic strategy. The obvious benefits of unmasking genetic background-specific vulnerabilities, coupled with the power of systematic genome editing, have fueled efforts to translate genetic interaction mapping from model organisms to human cells. Here, we review recent developments in genetic interaction mapping, with a focus on CRISPR-based genome editing technologies and cancer.

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