Inducible in vivo genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9.
ABSTRACT: CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing enables the rapid genetic manipulation of any genomic locus without the need for gene targeting by homologous recombination. Here we describe a conditional transgenic approach that allows temporal control of CRISPR-Cas9 activity for inducible genome editing in adult mice. We show that doxycycline-regulated Cas9 induction enables widespread gene disruption in multiple tissues and that limiting the duration of Cas9 expression or using a Cas9(D10A) (Cas9n) variant can regulate the frequency and size of target gene modifications, respectively. Further, we show that this inducible CRISPR (iCRISPR) system can be used effectively to create biallelic mutation in multiple target loci and, thus, provides a flexible and fast platform to study loss-of-function phenotypes in vivo.
Project description:With the ability to induce rapid and efficient repair of disease-causing mutations, CRISPR/Cas9 technology is ideally suited for gene therapy approaches for recessively and dominantly inherited monogenic disorders. In this study, we have corrected a causal hotspot mutation in exon 6 of the keratin 14 gene (KRT14) that results in generalized severe epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS-gen sev), using a double-nicking strategy targeting intron 7, followed by homology-directed repair (HDR). Co-delivery into EBS keratinocytes of a Cas9 D10A nickase (Cas9n), a predicted single guide RNA pair specific for intron 7, and a minicircle donor vector harboring the homology donor template resulted in a recombination efficiency of >30% and correction of the mutant KRT14 allele. Phenotypic correction of EBS-gen sev keratinocytes was demonstrated by immunofluorescence analysis, revealing the absence of disease-associated K14 aggregates within the cytoplasm. We achieved a promising safety profile for the CRISPR/Cas9 double-nicking approach, with no detectable off-target activity for a set of predicted off-target genes as confirmed by next generation sequencing. In conclusion, we demonstrate a highly efficient and specific gene-editing approach for KRT14, offering a causal treatment option for EBS.
Project description:Hereditary tyrosinemia type I (HTI) is a metabolic genetic disorder caused by mutation of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH). Because of the accumulation of toxic metabolites, HTI causes severe liver cirrhosis, liver failure, and even hepatocellular carcinoma. HTI is an ideal model for gene therapy, and several strategies have been shown to ameliorate HTI symptoms in animal models. Although CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing is able to correct the Fah mutation in mouse models, WT Cas9 induces numerous undesired mutations that have raised safety concerns for clinical applications. To develop a new method for gene correction with high fidelity, we generated a Fah mutant rat model to investigate whether Cas9 nickase (Cas9n)-mediated genome editing can efficiently correct the Fah First, we confirmed that Cas9n rarely induces indels in both on-target and off-target sites in cell lines. Using WT Cas9 as a positive control, we delivered Cas9n and the repair donor template/single guide (sg)RNA through adenoviral vectors into HTI rats. Analyses of the initial genome editing efficiency indicated that only WT Cas9 but not Cas9n causes indels at the on-target site in the liver tissue. After receiving either Cas9n or WT Cas9-mediated gene correction therapy, HTI rats gained weight steadily and survived. Fah-expressing hepatocytes occupied over 95% of the liver tissue 9 months after the treatment. Moreover, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene therapy prevented the progression of liver cirrhosis, a phenotype that could not be recapitulated in the HTI mouse model. These results strongly suggest that Cas9n-mediated genome editing is a valuable and safe gene therapy strategy for this genetic disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Delivery of CRISPR reagents into cells as ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes enables transient editing, and avoids CRISPR reagent integration in the genomes. Another technical advantage is that RNP delivery can bypass the need of cloning and vector construction steps. In this work we compared efficacies and types of edits for three Cas9 (WT Cas9 nuclease, HiFi Cas9 nuclease, Cas9 D10A nickase) and two Cas12a nucleases (AsCas12a and LbCas12a), using the rice phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene as a target site. FINDINGS:Delivery of two Cas9 nucleases (WT Cas9, and HiFi Cas9) and one Cas12a nuclease (LbCas12a) resulted in targeted mutagenesis of the PDS gene. LbCas12a had a higher editing efficiency than that of WT Cas9 and HiFi Cas9. Editing by Cas9 enzymes resulted in indels (1-2?bp) or larger deletions between 20-bp to 30-bp, which included the loss of the PAM site; whereas LbCas12a editing resulted in deletions ranging between 2?bp to 20?bp without the loss of the PAM site. CONCLUSIONS:In this work, when a single target site of the rice gene OsPDS was evaluated, the LbCas12a RNP complex achieved a higher targeted mutagenesis frequency than the AsCas12a or Cas9 RNPs.
Project description:Bacillus strains are important industrial bacteria that can produce various biochemical products. However, low transformation efficiencies and a lack of effective genome editing tools have hindered its widespread application. Recently, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas9 techniques have been utilized in many organisms as genome editing tools because of their high efficiency and easy manipulation. In this study, an efficient genome editing method was developed for Bacillus licheniformis using a CRISPR-Cas9 nickase integrated into the genome of B. licheniformis DW2 with overexpression driven by the P43 promoter. The yvmC gene was deleted using the CRISPR-Cas9n technique with homology arms of 1.0 kb as a representative example, and an efficiency of 100% was achieved. In addition, two genes were simultaneously disrupted with an efficiency of 11.6%, and the large DNA fragment bacABC (42.7 kb) was deleted with an efficiency of 79.0%. Furthermore, the heterologous reporter gene aprN, which codes for nattokinase in Bacillus subtilis, was inserted into the chromosome of B. licheniformis with an efficiency of 76.5%. The activity of nattokinase in the DWc9n?7/pP43SNT-SsacC strain reached 59.7 fibrinolytic units (FU)/ml, which was 25.7% higher than that of DWc9n/pP43SNT-SsacC Finally, the engineered strain DWc9n?7 (?epr ?wprA ?mpr ?aprE ?vpr ?bprA ?bacABC), with multiple disrupted genes, was constructed using the CRISPR-Cas9n technique. Taken together, we have developed an efficient genome editing tool based on CRISPR-Cas9n in B. licheniformis This tool could be applied to strain improvement for future research.IMPORTANCE As important industrial bacteria, Bacillus strains have attracted significant attention due to their production of biological products. However, genetic manipulation of these bacteria is difficult. The CRISPR-Cas9 system has been applied to genome editing in some bacteria, and CRISPR-Cas9n was proven to be an efficient and precise tool in previous reports. The significance of our research is the development of an efficient, more precise, and systematic genome editing method for single-gene deletion, multiple-gene disruption, large DNA fragment deletion, and single-gene integration in Bacillus licheniformis via Cas9 nickase. We also applied this method to the genetic engineering of the host strain for protein expression.
Project description:We report the generation-characterization of a fetal liver (FL) B-cell progenitor (BCP)-derived human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) line CRISPR/Cas9-edited to carry/express a single copy of doxycycline-inducible Cas9 gene in the "safe locus" AAVS1 (iCas9-FL-BCP-hiPSC). Gene-edited iPSCs remained pluripotent after CRISPR/Cas9 genome-edition. Correct genomic integration of a unique copy of Cas9 was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot. Cas9 was robustly and specifically expressed on doxycycline exposure. T7-endonuclease assay demonstrated that iCas9 induces robust gene-edition when gRNAs against hematopoietic transcription factors were tested. This iCas9-FL-BCP-hiPSC will facilitate gene-editing approaches for studies on developmental biology, drug screening and disease modeling.
Project description:The CRISPR-Cas9 system has the potential to revolutionize genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), but its advantages and pitfalls are still poorly understood. We systematically tested the ability of CRISPR-Cas9 to mediate reporter gene knockin at 16 distinct genomic sites in hPSCs. We observed efficient gene targeting but found that targeted clones carried an unexpectedly high frequency of insertion and deletion (indel) mutations at both alleles of the targeted gene. These indels were induced by Cas9 nuclease, as well as Cas9-D10A single or dual nickases, and often disrupted gene function. To overcome this problem, we designed strategies to physically destroy or separate CRISPR target sites at the targeted allele and developed a bioinformatic pipeline to identify and eliminate clones harboring deleterious indels at the other allele. This two-pronged approach enables the reliable generation of knockin hPSC reporter cell lines free of unwanted mutations at the targeted locus.
Project description:Transient expression of CRISPR/Cas9 is an effective approach for limiting its activities and improving its precision in genome editing. Here, we describe the heat-shock-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 for controlled genome editing, and demonstrate its efficiency in the model crop, rice. Using the soybean heat-shock protein gene promoter and the rice U3 promoter to express Cas9 and sgRNA, respectively, we developed the heat-shock (HS)-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 system, and tested its efficacy in targeted mutagenesis. Two loci were targeted in rice, and the presence of targeted mutations was determined before and after the HS treatment. Only a low rate of targeted mutagenesis was detected before HS (~16%), but an increased rate of mutagenesis was observed after the HS treatment among the transgenic lines (50-63%). Analysis of regenerated plants harboring HS-CRISPR/Cas9 revealed that targeted mutagenesis was suppressed in the plants but induced by HS, which was detectable by Sanger sequencing after a few weeks of HS treatments. Most importantly, the HS-induced mutations were transmitted to the progeny at a high rate, generating monoallelic and biallelic mutations that independently segregated from the Cas9 gene. Additionally, off-target mutations were either undetectable or found at a lower rate in HS-CRISPR/Cas9 lines as compared to the constitutive-overexpression CRISPR/Cas9 lines. Taken together, this work shows that HS-CRISPR/Cas9 is a controlled and reasonably efficient platform for genome editing, and therefore, a promising tool for limiting genome-wide off-target effects and improving the precision of genome editing.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful genome editing tool and has been widely used for biomedical research. However, many challenges, such as off-target effects and lack of easy solutions for multiplex targeting, are still limiting its applications. To overcome these challenges, we first developed a highly efficient doxycycline-inducible Cas9-EGFP vector. This vector allowed us to track the cells for uniform temporal control and efficient gene disruption, even in a polyclonal setting. Furthermore, the inducible CRISPR/Cas9 system dramatically decreased off-target effects with a pulse exposure of the genome to the Cas9/sgRNA complex. To target multiple genes simultaneously, we established simple one-step cloning approaches for expression of multiple sgRNAs with improved vectors. By combining our inducible and multiplex genome editing approaches, we were able to simultaneously delete Lysine Demethylase (KDM) 5A, 5B and 5C efficiently in vitro and in vivo This user friendly and highly efficient toolbox provides a solution for easy genome editing with tight temporal control, minimal off-target effects and multiplex targeting.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been adapted as an efficient genome editing tool in laboratory animals such as mice, rats, zebrafish and pigs. Here, we report that CRISPR/Cas9 mediated approach can efficiently induce monoallelic and biallelic gene knockout in goat primary fibroblasts. Four genes were disrupted simultaneously in goat fibroblasts by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. The single-gene knockout fibroblasts were successfully used for somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and resulted in live-born goats harboring biallelic mutations. The CRISPR/Cas9 system represents a highly effective and facile platform for targeted editing of large animal genomes, which can be broadly applied to both biomedical and agricultural applications.
Project description:A now frequently used method to edit mammalian genomes uses the nucleases CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1 or the nickase CRISPR/Cas9n to introduce double-strand breaks which are then repaired by homology-directed repair using DNA donor molecules carrying desired mutations. Using a mixture of small molecules, the "CRISPY" mix, we achieve a 2.8- to 7.2-fold increase in precise genome editing with Cas9n, resulting in the introduction of the intended nucleotide substitutions in almost 50% of chromosomes or of gene encoding a blue fluorescent protein in 27% of cells, to our knowledge the highest editing efficiency in human induced pluripotent stem cells described to date. Furthermore, the CRISPY mix improves precise genome editing with Cpf1 2.3- to 4.0-fold, allowing almost 20% of chromosomes to be edited. The components of the CRISPY mix do not always increase the editing efficiency in the immortalized or primary cell lines tested, suggesting that employed repair pathways are cell-type specific.