Congrats to John Liu and Max Horlbeck for their Recent Publication

John Liu (BMS) and Max Horlbeck (Biophysics), both in the MSTP enrolling class of 2011, recently had their first author publication accepted to Science. UCSF News also wrote a terrific piece on their research, which you can read over at the UCSF News website.

Here's the abstract of their publication, "CRISPRi-based genome-scale identification of functional long noncoding RNA loci in human cells":

The human genome produces thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) – transcripts >200 nucleotides long that do not encode proteins. While critical roles in normal biology and disease have been revealed for a subset of lncRNAs, the function of the vast majority remains untested. Here, we developed a CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) platform targeting 16,401 lncRNA loci in 7 diverse cell lines including 6 transformed cell lines and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Large-scale screening identified 499 lncRNA loci required for robust cellular growth, of which 89% showed growth modifying function exclusively in one cell type. We further found that lncRNA knockdown can perturb complex transcriptional networks in a cell type-specific manner. These data underscore the functional importance and cell type-specificity of many lncRNAs.

Please congratulate John and Max on their achievement!