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MDACC Gene Editing/Cellular Model Core Facility

About Gene Editing/Cellular Model Core

Cancer research in the era of genome medicine necessitates an in-depth understanding of protein functions before they can be explored as therapeutic targets or diagnostic candidates. In recent years DNA- and RNA-based surveys of tumor genome and expression profiling have produced a plethora of leads on genes with clinical significance. Evaluation and validation of candidate gene products entail elucidation of their functional networks and mechanisms of action. Functional understanding of candidate proteins is vital to assay development, compound design, and diagnostic/prognostic utilizations. Construction of genetic models continues to be a most effective measure in understanding gene functions because loss of functional mutants accurately reflects non-redundant protein functions and elucidates the cellular impact of a protein of interest. Information obtained from genetic models provides crucial information for a given gene product and helps determine their validity in clinical applications.

 

Genetic model construction demands high level expertise to achieve any desirable accuracy, consistency, and efficiency. The Gene Editing/Cellular Model Core Facility provides custom cellular model construction services using two technical platforms. Below are quick guides to the two types of services.

Overview of Services

Construction of somatic cellular knockout models for the determination of protein functional impacts on various cellular processes:

 

This service will complement the shRNA core facility as many gene functions are masked or skewed due to the partiality, off-target, and transient nature of the knockdown approach. The first order for these services is always free.

 

Somatic knockout using AAV-based system and CRISPR-cas9 system:

 

We have long-term interests and ample experience in generating somatic knockout cellular models for studying protein functions. These knockout cell lines provide valuable insights into protein functions that may not be obvious due to inefficient knockdown using shRNAs/siRNAs. We have generated more than 10 knockout cell lines using homologous recombination and AAV-based system. More recently, we have adopted the rapidly developing CRISPR-cas9 system to generate protein-null genetic mutants in a variety of cell types.

 

Somatic knockout using AAV-based homologous recombination method:

  • Well-established methodology
  • Do not have off-target effect
  • Limited to 2-3 cell lines (best used in HCT116 cells)

 CRISPR-cas9 based somatic knockout system:

  • New method, which still needs improvement
  • Have potential off-target effect
  • Can be done in any cells (so far we used HEK293T, HeLa, MCF10A cells…)
  • Requirement: need target antibody for mutant screening (Western blotting)

Leadership

Dr. Junjie Chen
Program Chairman
Email: jchen8@mdanderson.org


Dr. Lei Li
Program Chairman
Email: leili@mdanderson.org

 

Jason Thomas
Departmental Administrator
Email: jthomas@mdanderson.org

 

Danny Hamlin
Core Administrator
Email: dghamlin@mdanderson.org

 

Location and hours of operation

Hours

Location

Monday-Friday

8 AM- 5 PM

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Zayed Building

6565 MD Anderson Blvd, Houston, TX 77030

Links and Resources

  1. Gene Editing/Cellular Model Core Internal MDA Website

Contacts

Name Role Phone Email Location
Dr. Junjie Chen
Program Chairman
 
713-792-4863
 
jchen8@mdanderson.org
 
Zayed Building
 
Dr. Lei Li
Program Chairman
 
713-792-2514
 
leili@mdanderson.org
 
Zayed Building
 
Danny Hamlin
Core Administrator
 
713-792-4862
 
dghamlin@mdanderson.org
 
Zayed Building
 
Jason Thomas
Departmental Administrator
 
713-834-6079
 
jthomas@mdanderson.org
 
Zayed Building
 

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