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ENCoRE: an efficient software for CRISPR screens identifies new players in extrinsic apoptosis.

BMC Genomics. 2017 Nov 25;18(1):905. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-4285-2.

Authors/Editors: Trümbach D, Pfeiffer S, Poppe M, Scherb H, Doll S, Wurst W, Schick JA.
Publication Date: 2017



BACKGROUND: As CRISPR/Cas9 mediated screens with pooled guide libraries in somatic cells become increasingly established, an unmet need for rapid and accurate companion informatics tools has emerged. We have developed a lightweight and efficient software to easily manipulate large raw next generation sequencing datasets derived from such screens into informative relational context with graphical support. The advantages of the software entitled ENCoRE (Easy NGS-to-Gene CRISPR REsults) include a simple graphical workflow, platform independence, local and fast multithreaded processing, data pre-processing and gene mapping with custom library import.

RESULTS: We demonstrate the capabilities of ENCoRE to interrogate results from a pooled CRISPR cellular viability screen following Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha challenge. The results not only identified stereotypical players in extrinsic apoptotic signaling but two as yet uncharacterized members of the extrinsic apoptotic cascade, Smg7 and Ces2a. We further validated and characterized cell lines containing mutations in these genes against a panel of cell death stimuli and involvement in p53 signaling.

CONCLUSIONS: In summary, this software enables bench scientists with sensitive data or without access to informatic cores to rapidly interpret results from large scale experiments resulting from pooled CRISPR/Cas9 library screens.

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