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Highly efficient therapeutic gene editing of human hematopoietic stem cells.


ABSTRACT: Re-expression of the paralogous ?-globin genes (HBG1/2) could be a universal strategy to ameliorate the severe ?-globin disorders sickle cell disease (SCD) and ?-thalassemia by induction of fetal hemoglobin (HbF, ?2?2)1. Previously, we and others have shown that core sequences at the BCL11A erythroid enhancer are required for repression of HbF in adult-stage erythroid cells but are dispensable in non-erythroid cells2-6. CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene modification has demonstrated variable efficiency, specificity, and persistence in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Here, we demonstrate that Cas9:sgRNA ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-mediated cleavage within a GATA1 binding site at the +58 BCL11A erythroid enhancer results in highly penetrant disruption of this motif, reduction of BCL11A expression, and induction of fetal ?-globin. We optimize conditions for selection-free on-target editing in patient-derived HSCs as a nearly complete reaction lacking detectable genotoxicity or deleterious impact on stem cell function. HSCs preferentially undergo non-homologous compared with microhomology-mediated end joining repair. Erythroid progeny of edited engrafting SCD HSCs express therapeutic levels of HbF and resist sickling, while those from patients with ?-thalassemia show restored globin chain balance. Non-homologous end joining repair-based BCL11A enhancer editing approaching complete allelic disruption in HSCs is a practicable therapeutic strategy to produce durable HbF induction.

SUBMITTER: Wu Y 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6512986 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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