Generation of lung cancer cell lines harboring EGFR T790M mutation by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing


Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) such as gefitinib and erlotinib are effective against lung adenocarcinomas harboring epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. However, cancer cells can develop resistance to these agents with prolonged exposure; in over 50% of cases, this is attributable to the EGFR T790M mutation. Moreover, additional resistance mutations can arise with the use of new drugs. Cancer cell lines with specific mutations can enable the study of resistance mechanisms. In this study, we introduced the EGFR T790M mutation into the PC9 human lung cancer cell line—which has a deletion in exon 19 of the EGFR gene by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPRassociated (Cas)9-mediated genome editing. EGFR pyrosequencing and peptide nucleic acid clamping revealed that PC9 cells with EGFR T790M generated by CRISPR/Cas 9 had a higher T790M mutation rate than those with the same mutation generated by long-term exposure to gefitinib (PC9-G); moreover, resistance to gefitinib in these clones was higher than that in PC9-G cells. The clones were also highly sensitive to the 3rd-generation EGFR TKI AZD9291, which is cytotoxic to lung cancer cells with EGFR T790M. The CRISPR/Cas9 programmable nuclease system can be used to generate various cancer cell lines with specific mutations that can facilitate studies on resistance mechanisms and drug efficacy.

Crispr cas9


lung cancer, resistance, EGFR T790M, CRISPR/Cas9