Combining Single Strand Oligodeoxynucleotides and CRISPR/Cas9 to Correct Gene Mutations in ?-Thalassemia-induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
ABSTRACT: ?-Thalassemia (?-Thal) is one of the most common genetic diseases in the world. The generation of patient-specific ?-Thal-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), correction of the disease-causing mutations in those cells, and then differentiation into hematopoietic stem cells offers a new therapeutic strategy for this disease. Here, we designed a CRISPR/Cas9 to specifically target the Homo sapiens hemoglobin ? (HBB) gene CD41/42(-CTTT) mutation. We demonstrated that the combination of single strand oligodeoxynucleotides with CRISPR/Cas9 was capable of correcting the HBB gene CD41/42 mutation in ?-Thal iPSCs. After applying a correction-specific PCR assay to purify the corrected clones followed by sequencing to confirm mutation correction, we verified that the purified clones retained full pluripotency and exhibited normal karyotyping. Additionally, whole-exome sequencing showed that the mutation load to the exomes was minimal after CRISPR/Cas9 targeting. Furthermore, the corrected iPSCs were selected for erythroblast differentiation and restored the expression of HBB protein compared with the parental iPSCs. This method provides an efficient and safe strategy to correct the HBB gene mutation in ?-Thal iPSCs.
Project description:Beta-thalassemia is one of the most common recessive genetic diseases, caused by mutations in the HBB gene. Over 200 different types of mutations in the HBB gene containing three exons have been identified in patients with ?-thalassemia (?-thal) whereas a homozygous mutation in exon 1 causes sickle cell disease (SCD). Novel therapeutic strategies to permanently correct the HBB mutation in stem cells that are able to expand and differentiate into erythrocytes producing corrected HBB proteins are highly desirable. Genome editing aided by CRISPR/Cas9 and other site-specific engineered nucleases offers promise to precisely correct a genetic mutation in the native genome without alterations in other parts of the human genome. Although making a sequence-specific nuclease to enhance correction of a specific HBB mutation by homology-directed repair (HDR) is becoming straightforward, targeting various HBB mutations of ?-thal is still challenging because individual guide RNA as well as a donor DNA template for HDR of each type of HBB gene mutation have to be selected and validated. Using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from two ?-thal patients with different HBB gene mutations, we devised and tested a universal strategy to achieve targeted insertion of the HBB cDNA in exon 1 of HBB gene using Cas9 and two validated guide RNAs. We observed that HBB protein production was restored in erythrocytes derived from iPSCs of two patients. This strategy of restoring functional HBB gene expression will be able to correct most types of HBB gene mutations in ?-thal and SCD. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2018;7:87-97.
Project description:Monogenic disorders (MGDs), which are caused by single gene mutations, have a serious effect on human health. Among these, ?-thalassemia (?-thal) represents one of the most common hereditary hematological diseases caused by mutations in the human hemoglobin ? (HBB) gene. The technologies of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and genetic correction provide insights into the treatments for MGDs, including ?-thal. However, traditional approaches for correcting mutations have a low efficiency and leave a residual footprint, which leads to some safety concerns in clinical applications. As a proof of concept, we utilized single-strand oligodeoxynucleotides (ssODNs), high-fidelity CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease, and small molecules to achieve a seamless correction of the ?-41/42 (TCTT) deletion mutation in ? thalassemia patient-specific iPSCs with remarkable efficiency. Additionally, off-target analysis and whole-exome sequencing results revealed that corrected cells exhibited a minimal mutational load and no off-target mutagenesis. When differentiated into hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) and then further to erythroblasts, the genetically corrected cells expressed normal ?-globin transcripts. Our studies provide the most efficient and safe approach for the genetic correction of the ?-41/42 (TCTT) deletion in iPSCs for further potential cell therapy of ?-thal, which represents a potential therapeutic avenue for the gene correction of MGD-associated mutants in patient-specific iPSCs.
Project description:?-thalassaemia is a prevalent hereditary haematological disease caused by mutations in the human haemoglobin ? (HBB) gene. Among them, the HBB IVS2-654 (C > T) mutation, which is in the intron, creates an aberrant splicing site. Bone marrow transplantation for curing ?-thalassaemia is limited due to the lack of matched donors. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), as a widely used tool for gene editing, is able to target specific sequence and create double-strand break (DSB), which can be combined with the single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide (ssODN) to correct mutations. In this study, according to two different strategies, the HBB IVS2-654 mutation was seamlessly corrected in iPSCs by CRISPR/Cas9 system and ssODN. To reduce the occurrence of secondary cleavage, a more efficient strategy was adopted. The corrected iPSCs kept pluripotency and genome stability. Moreover, they could differentiate normally. Through CRISPR/Cas9 system and ssODN, our study provides improved strategies for gene correction of ?-Thalassaemia, and the expression of the HBB gene can be restored, which can be used for gene therapy in the future.
Project description:?-Thalassemia is one of the most common genetic blood diseases and is caused by either point mutations or deletions in the ?-globin (HBB) gene. The generation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and subsequent correction of the disease-causing mutations may be a potential therapeutic strategy for this disease. Due to the low efficiency of typical homologous recombination, endonucleases, including TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9, have been widely used to enhance the gene correction efficiency in patient-derived iPSCs. Here, we designed TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 to directly target the intron2 mutation site IVS2-654 in the globin gene. We observed different frequencies of double-strand breaks (DSBs) at IVS2-654 loci using TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9, and TALENs mediated a higher homologous gene targeting efficiency compared to CRISPR/Cas9 when combined with the piggyBac transposon donor. In addition, more obvious off-target events were observed for CRISPR/Cas9 compared to TALENs. Finally, TALENs-corrected iPSC clones were selected for erythroblast differentiation using the OP9 co-culture system and detected relatively higher transcription of HBB than the uncorrected cells. This comparison of using TALENs or CRISPR/Cas9 to correct specific HBB mutations in patient-derived iPSCs will guide future applications of TALENs- or CRISPR/Cas9-based gene therapies in monogenic diseases.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Thalassemia is the most common genetic disease worldwide; those with severe disease require lifelong blood transfusion and iron chelation therapy. The definitive cure for thalassemia is allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which is limited due to lack of HLA-matched donors and the risk of post-transplant complications. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology offers prospects for autologous cell-based therapy which could avoid the immunological problems. We now report genetic correction of the beta hemoglobin (HBB) gene in iPSCs derived from a patient with a double heterozygote for hemoglobin E and ?-thalassemia (HbE/?-thalassemia), the most common thalassemia syndrome in Thailand and Southeast Asia.<h4>Methods</h4>We used the CRISPR/Cas9 system to target the hemoglobin E mutation from one allele of the HBB gene by homology-directed repair with a single-stranded DNA oligonucleotide template. DNA sequences of the corrected iPSCs were validated by Sanger sequencing. The corrected clones were differentiated into hematopoietic progenitor and erythroid cells to confirm their multilineage differentiation potential and hemoglobin expression.<h4>Results</h4>The hemoglobin E mutation of HbE/?-thalassemia iPSCs was seamlessly corrected by the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The corrected clones were differentiated into hematopoietic progenitor cells under feeder-free and OP9 coculture systems. These progenitor cells were further expanded in erythroid liquid culture system and developed into erythroid cells that expressed mature HBB gene and HBB protein.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study provides a strategy to correct hemoglobin E mutation in one step and these corrected iPSCs can be differentiated into hematopoietic stem cells to be used for autologous transplantation in patients with HbE/?-thalassemia in the future.
Project description:The generation of personalized induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) followed by targeted genome editing provides an opportunity for developing customized effective cellular therapies for genetic disorders. However, it is critical to ascertain whether edited iPSCs harbor unfavorable genomic variations before their clinical application. To examine the mutation status of the edited iPSC genome and trace the origin of possible mutations at different steps, we have generated virus-free iPSCs from amniotic cells carrying homozygous point mutations in ?-hemoglobin gene (HBB) that cause severe ?-thalassemia (?-Thal), corrected the mutations in both HBB alleles by zinc finger nuclease-aided gene targeting, and obtained the final HBB gene-corrected iPSCs by excising the exogenous drug resistance gene with Cre recombinase. Through comparative genomic hybridization and whole-exome sequencing, we uncovered seven copy number variations, five small insertions/deletions, and 64 single nucleotide variations (SNVs) in ?-Thal iPSCs before the gene targeting step and found a single small copy number variation, 19 insertions/deletions, and 340 single nucleotide variations in the final gene-corrected ?-Thal iPSCs. Our data revealed that substantial but different genomic variations occurred at factor-induced somatic cell reprogramming and zinc finger nuclease-aided gene targeting steps, suggesting that stringent genomic monitoring and selection are needed both at the time of iPSC derivation and after gene targeting.
Project description:Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and genome editing provide a precise way to generate gene-corrected cells for disease modeling and cell therapies. Human iPSCs generated from sickle cell disease (SCD) patients have a homozygous missense point mutation in the HBB gene encoding adult ?-globin proteins, and are used as a model system to improve strategies of human gene therapy. We demonstrate that the CRISPR/Cas9 system designer nuclease is much more efficient in stimulating gene targeting of the endogenous HBB locus near the SCD point mutation in human iPSCs than zinc finger nucleases and TALENs. Using a specific guide RNA and Cas9, we readily corrected one allele of the SCD HBB gene in human iPSCs by homologous recombination with a donor DNA template containing the wild-type HBB DNA and a selection cassette that was subsequently removed to avoid possible interference of HBB transcription and translation. We chose targeted iPSC clones that have one corrected and one disrupted SCD allele for erythroid differentiation assays, using an improved xeno-free and feeder-free culture condition we recently established. Erythrocytes from either the corrected or its parental (uncorrected) iPSC line were generated with similar efficiencies. Currently ?6%-10% of these differentiated erythrocytes indeed lacked nuclei, characteristic of further matured erythrocytes called reticulocytes. We also detected the 16-kDa ?-globin protein expressed from the corrected HBB allele in the erythrocytes differentiated from genome-edited iPSCs. Our results represent a significant step toward the clinical applications of genome editing using patient-derived iPSCs to generate disease-free cells for cell and gene therapies. Stem Cells 2015;33:1470-1479.
Project description:The genetic correction of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) induced from somatic cells of patients with sensorineural hearing loss (caused by hereditary factors) is a promising method for its treatment. The correction of gene mutations in iPSCs could restore the normal function of cells and provide a rich source of cells for transplantation. In the present study, iPSCs were generated from a deaf patient with compound heterozygous MYO7A mutations (c.1184G>A and c.4118C>T; P-iPSCs), the asymptomatic father of the patient (MYO7A c.1184G>A mutation; CF-iPSCs), and a normal donor (MYO7A(WT/WT); C-iPSCs). One of MYO7A mutation sites (c.4118C>T) in the P-iPSCs was corrected using CRISPR/Cas9. The corrected iPSCs (CP-iPSCs) retained cell pluripotency and normal karyotypes. Hair cell-like cells induced from CP-iPSCs showed restored organization of stereocilia-like protrusions; moreover, the electrophysiological function of these cells was similar to that of cells induced from C-iPSCs and CF-iPSCs. These results might facilitate the development of iPSC-based gene therapy for genetic disorders.Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were generated from a deaf patient with compound heterozygous MYO7A mutations (c.1184G>A and c.4118C>T). One of the MYO7A mutation sites (c.4118C>T) in the iPSCs was corrected using CRISPR/Cas9. The genetic correction of MYO7A mutation resulted in morphologic and functional recovery of hair cell-like cells derived from iPSCs. These findings confirm the hypothesis that MYO7A plays an important role in the assembly of stereocilia into stereociliary bundles. Thus, the present study might provide further insight into the pathogenesis of sensorineural hearing loss and facilitate the development of therapeutic strategies against monogenic disease through the genetic repair of patient-specific iPSCs.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas enhanced correction of the sickle cell disease (SCD) genetic defect in patient-specific induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) provides a potential gene therapy for this debilitating disease. An advantage of this approach is that corrected iPSCs that are free of off-target modifications can be identified before differentiating the cells into hematopoietic progenitors for transplantation. In order for this approach to be practical, iPSC generation must be rapid and efficient. Therefore, we developed a novel helper-dependent adenovirus/Epstein-Barr virus (HDAd/EBV) hybrid reprogramming vector, rCLAE-R6, that delivers six reprogramming factors episomally. HDAd/EBV transduction of keratinocytes from SCD patients resulted in footprint-free iPSCs with high efficiency. Subsequently, the sickle mutation was corrected by delivering CRISPR/Cas9 with adenovirus followed by nucleoporation with a 70?nt single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide (ssODN) correction template. Correction efficiencies of up to 67.9% (?(A)/[?(S)+?(A)]) were obtained. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of corrected iPSC lines demonstrated no CRISPR/Cas modifications in 1467 potential off-target sites and no modifications in tumor suppressor genes or other genes associated with pathologies. These results demonstrate that adenoviral delivery of reprogramming factors and CRISPR/Cas provides a rapid and efficient method of deriving gene-corrected, patient-specific iPSCs for therapeutic applications.
Project description:Haemoglobin (Hb) H-constant spring (CS) alpha thalassaemia (- -/-?CS) is the most common type of nondeletional Hb H disease in southern China. The CRISPR/Cas9-based gene correction of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and cell transplantation now represent a therapeutic solution for this genetic disease. We designed primers for the target sites using CRISPR/Cas9 to specifically edit the HBA2 gene with an Hb-CS mutation. After applying a correction-specific PCR assay to purify the corrected clones followed by sequencing to confirm the mutation correction, we verified that the purified clones retained full pluripotency and exhibited a normal karyotype. This strategy may be promising in the future, although it is far from representing a solution for the treatment of HbH-CS thalassemia now.