Investigating cellular functions of the SMARCAD1 gene in human MPNST cells by CRISPR-Cas13d knockdown
Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor (MPNST) is a form of soft tissue sarcoma arising from peripheral nerve sheath cells. Currently, there is no clinically available targeted therapy because the targetable essential driver genes in this tumor are largely unknown. SMARCAD1 (SWI/SNF-related, matrix-associated actin-dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily A, containing DEAD/H box 1) has been identified as a new tumor suppressor of MPNSTs in zebrafish. Several studies have also linked SMARCAD1 with cancer development together. However, the cellular roles of SMARCAD1 in human MPNST cells remain unclear. To investigate DNA damage repair functions of SMARCAD1 in human MPNST, we created a doxycycline-inducible Schwannoma cell line by CRISPR-Cas13d, a newly developed mRNA knockdown method. I verified efficiently SMARCAD1 knockdown cell line by western blot. In addition, knockdown of SMARCAD1 inhibits Schwannoma cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth. It is reported that SMARCAD1 is involved in DNA damage repair mechanisms. I confirmed that loss of SMARCAD1 expression compromises DNA damage repairing function in Schwannoma cells. This result was also verified in two zebrafish smarcad1 mutants. In summary, I utilized a novel gene knockdown approach to generate a SMARCAD1 Schwannoma cell line and validated its function in DNA damage repair. This study might provide information for developing a new treatment option for MPNSTs.