Mutations within the KRAS oncogene are associated with the proliferation of various cancers. Therapeutic approaches for treating cancers with such mutations have focused on targeting the downstream protein effectors of KRAS. However, to date, no approved treatment has targeted the mutated KRAS oncogene directly. Presently, we used the selectivity of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to directly target mutated KRAS alleles. We designed single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) to target two specific single-nucleotide missense mutations on KRAS codon-12 located in the seed region adjacent to a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM). Lentiviral transduction of Cas9 and the sgRNAs into cancer cells with respective KRAS mutations resulted in high frequency of indels in the seed region. Indel-associated disruption of the mutant KRAS alleles correlated with reduced viability of the cancer cells. The results indicate that CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing can potentially be used for the treatment of cancer patients, specifically those with oncogenic KRAS mutations.
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