Functional Toxicogenomic Assessment of Triclosan in Human HepG2 Cells Using Genome-Wide CRISPR-Cas9 Screening

There are thousands of chemicals used by humans and detected in the environment for which limited or no toxicological data are available. Rapid and cost-effective approaches for assessing the toxicological properties of chemicals are needed. We used CRISPR-Cas9 functional genomic screening to identify the potential molecular mechanism of a widely used antimicrobial triclosan (TCS) in HepG2 cells. Resistant genes at IC50 (the concentration causing a 50% reduction in cell viability) were significantly enriched in the adherens junction pathway, MAPK signaling pathway, and PPAR signaling pathway, suggesting a potential role in the molecular mechanism of TCS-induced cytotoxicity. Evaluation of the top-ranked resistant genes, FTO (encoding an mRNA demethylase) and MAP2K3 (a MAP kinase kinase family gene), revealed that their loss conferred resistance to TCS. In contrast, sensitive genes at IC10 and IC20 were specifically enriched in pathways involved with immune responses, which was concordant with transcriptomic profiling of TCS at concentrations of