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Polygence Scholar2021
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Ramya Palani

Cupertino High SchoolClass of 2022

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Projects

  • Validating the efficacy and impact of CRISPR repression of the ERO1A gene using RNA-seq analysis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma with mentor Melanie (Oct. 1, 2021)

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Validating the efficacy and impact of CRISPR repression of the ERO1A gene using RNA-seq analysis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Started Apr. 7, 2021

Abstract or project description

CRISPR gene editing is used to modify the genome of organisms, serving as a potential approach to cure different genetic diseases including cancers, Huntington's disease, and cystic fibrosis (1). The ERO1A (Endoplasmic Reticulum Oxidoreductase 1 Alpha) gene is a protein-coding gene that is involved in disulfide bond formation in the endoplasmic reticulum and has been implicated in a variety of diseases, including cholera and liver cancer (2). A 2019 study by the University of Connecticut used CRISPR to repress the ERO1A gene in the HepG2 cell line. The HepG2 cells were extracted from a male Caucasian child of age 15 with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer (3). A control data sample from the same patient had also been uploaded on the ENCODE database in absence of CRISPR editing (4). Data was downloaded from the ENCODE database, aligned with the human reference transcriptome using Kallisto一a program that quantifies transcript abundance一and then analyzed for differential gene expression on the Degust platform (5-14). The use of CRISPR to modify the ERO1A gene was successful in decreasing the expression of the RNA transcripts produced and suggested effects on other potential biomarkers of HCC (GPC3 and KPNA2) and related genes (UPF1, SPP1, ARG1, MDM2). CRISPR editing can hence be a potential treatment for diseases associated with the ERO1A gene, including liver cancer.