Brain tumor modeling using the CRISPR/Cas9 system: state of the art and view to the future

Xiao-Yuan Mao, Jin-Xiang Dai, Hong-Hao Zhou, Zhao-Qian Liu and Wei-Lin Jin _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:33461-33471. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8075

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Xiao-Yuan Mao1,2, Jin-Xiang Dai3, Hong-Hao Zhou1,2, Zhao-Qian Liu1,2 and Wei-Lin Jin4,5

1 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, P. R. China

2 Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Central South University, Hunan Key Laboratory of Pharmacogenetics, Changsha, P. R. China

3 Public Health Sciences Division/Translational Research Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA

4 Institute of Nano Biomedicine and Engineering, Department of Instrument Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication Technology of Ministry of Education, School of Electronic Information and Electronic Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P. R. China

5 National Center for Translational Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Xiao-Yuan Mao, email:

Zhao-Qian Liu, email:

Wei-Lin Jin, email:

Keywords: brain tumors, animal models, CRISPR, oncogene, tumor suppressor

Received: January 06, 2016 Accepted: February 29, 2016 Published: March 14, 2016


Although brain tumors have been known tremendously over the past decade, there are still many problems to be solved. The etiology of brain tumors is not well understood and the treatment remains modest. There is in great need to develop a suitable brain tumor models that faithfully mirror the etiology of human brain neoplasm and subsequently get more efficient therapeutic approaches for these disorders. In this review, we described the current status of animal models of brain tumors and analyzed their advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, prokaryotic clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), a versatile genome editing technology for investigating the functions of target genes, and its application were also introduced in our present work. We firstly proposed that brain tumor modeling could be well established via CRISPR/Cas9 techniques. And CRISPR/Cas9-mediated brain tumor modeling was likely to be more suitable for figuring out the pathogenesis of brain tumors, as CRISPR/Cas9 platform was a simple and more efficient biological toolbox for implementing mutagenesis of oncogenes or tumor suppressors that were closely linked with brain tumors.

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