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CRISPRi: a way to integrate iPSC-derived neuronal models.

The genetic landscape of neurodegenerative diseases encompasses genes affecting multiple cellular pathways which exert effects in an array of neuronal and glial cell-types. Deconvolution of the roles of genes implicated in disease and the effects of disease-associated variants remains a vital step in the understanding of neurodegeneration and the development of therapeutics. Disease modelling using patient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has enabled the generation of key cell-types associated with disease whilst maintaining the genomic variants that predispose to neurodegeneration. The use of CRISPR interference (CRISPRi), alongside other CRISPR-perturbations, allows the modelling of the effects of these disease-associated variants or identifying genes which modify disease phenotypes. This review summarises the current applications of CRISPRi in iPSC-derived neuronal models, such as fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-based screens, and discusses the future opportunities for disease modelling, identification of disease risk modifiers and target/drug discovery in neurodegeneration.

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