Initial Steps for the Development of a Phage-Mediated Gene Replacement Therapy Using CRISPR-Cas9 Technology.
ABSTRACT: p53 gene (TP53) replacement therapy has shown promising results in cancer gene therapy. However, it has been hampered, mostly because of the gene delivery vector of choice. CRISPR-Cas9 technology (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9) can knock out the mutated TP53 (mutTP53), but due to its large size, many viral vectors are not suitable or require implemented strategies that lower the therapeutic efficiency. Here, we introduced a bacteriophage or phage-based vector with the ability to target cancer cells and aimed to investigate the feasibility of using this vector to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 transgene in human lung adenocarcinoma cells. First, we produced a tumour-targeted bacteriophage carrying a CRISPR-Cas9 transgene cassette. Next, we investigated any negative impact on vector titers via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and colony-forming agar plate. Last, we combined Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining to prove cell transduction in vitro. We showed that the tumour-targeted bacteriophage can package a large-size vector genome, ~10 kb, containing the CRISPR-Cas9 sequence without any negative impact on the active or total number of bacteriophage particles. Then, we detected expression of the Cas9 in human lung adenocarcinoma cells in a targeted and efficient manner. Finally, we proved loss of p53 protein expression when a p53 gRNA was incorporated into the CRISPR-Cas9 phage DNA construct. These proof-of-concept findings support the use of engineered bacteriophage for TP53 replacement therapy in lung cancer.
Project description:Genome editing technology is important for plant science and crop breeding. Genome-edited plants prepared using general CRISPR-Cas9 methods usually contain foreign DNA, which is problematic for the production of genome-edited transgene-free plants for vegetative propagation or highly heterozygous hybrid cultivars. Here, we describe a method for highly efficient targeted mutagenesis in Nicotiana benthamiana through the expression of Cas9 and single-guide (sg)RNA using a potato virus X (PVX) vector. Following Agrobacterium-mediated introduction of virus vector cDNA, >60% of shoots regenerated without antibiotic selection carried targeted mutations, while ?18% of shoots contained T-DNA. The PVX vector was also used to express a base editor consisting of modified Cas9 fused with cytidine deaminase to introduce targeted nucleotide substitution in regenerated shoots. We also report exogenous DNA-free genome editing by mechanical inoculation of virions comprising the PVX vector expressing Cas9. This simple and efficient virus vector-mediated delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 could facilitate transgene-free gene editing in plants.
Project description:Cas9 is commonly introduced into cell lines to enable CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing. Here, we studied the genetic and transcriptional consequences of Cas9 expression itself. Gene expression profiling of 165 pairs of human cancer cell lines and their Cas9-expressing derivatives revealed upregulation of the p53 pathway upon introduction of Cas9, specifically in wild-type TP53 (TP53-WT) cell lines. This was confirmed at the messenger RNA and protein levels. Moreover, elevated levels of DNA repair were observed in Cas9-expressing cell lines. Genetic characterization of 42 cell line pairs showed that introduction of Cas9 can lead to the emergence and expansion of p53-inactivating mutations. This was confirmed by competition experiments in isogenic TP53-WT and TP53-null (TP53-/-) cell lines. Lastly, Cas9 was less active in TP53-WT than in TP53-mutant cell lines, and Cas9-induced p53 pathway activation affected cellular sensitivity to both genetic and chemical perturbations. These findings may have broad implications for the proper use of CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing.
Project description:Bacteria rely on two known DNA-level defenses against their bacteriophage predators: restriction-modification and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems. Certain phages have evolved countermeasures that are known to block endonucleases. For example, phage T4 not only adds hydroxymethyl groups to all of its cytosines, but also glucosylates them, a strategy that defeats almost all restriction enzymes. We sought to determine whether these DNA modifications can similarly impede CRISPR-based defenses. In a bioinformatics search, we found naturally occurring CRISPR spacers that potentially target phages known to modify their DNA. Experimentally, we show that the Cas9 nuclease from the Type II CRISPR system of Streptococcus pyogenes can overcome a variety of DNA modifications in Escherichia coli. The levels of Cas9-mediated phage resistance to bacteriophage T4 and the mutant phage T4 gt, which contains hydroxymethylated but not glucosylated cytosines, were comparable to phages with unmodified cytosines, T7 and the T4-like phage RB49. Our results demonstrate that Cas9 is not impeded by N6-methyladenine, 5-methylcytosine, 5-hydroxymethylated cytosine, or glucosylated 5-hydroxymethylated cytosine.
Project description:CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering has revolutionised high-throughput functional genomic screens. However, recent work has raised concerns regarding the performance of CRISPR-Cas9 screens using TP53 wild-type human cells due to a p53-mediated DNA damage response (DDR) limiting the efficiency of generating viable edited cells. To directly assess the impact of cellular p53 status on CRISPR-Cas9 screen performance, we carried out parallel CRISPR-Cas9 screens in wild-type and TP53 knockout human retinal pigment epithelial cells using a focused dual guide RNA library targeting 852 DDR-associated genes. Our work demonstrates that although functional p53 status negatively affects identification of significantly depleted genes, optimal screen design can nevertheless enable robust screen performance. Through analysis of our own and published screen data, we highlight key factors for successful screens in both wild-type and p53-deficient cells.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas9 is a powerful genome editing tool in many organisms, including a number of monocots and dicots. Although the design and application of CRISPR/Cas9 is simpler compared to other nuclease-based genome editing tools, optimization requires the consideration of the DNA delivery and tissue regeneration methods for a particular species to achieve accuracy and efficiency. Here, we describe a public sector system, ISU Maize CRISPR, utilizing Agrobacterium-delivered CRISPR/Cas9 for high-frequency targeted mutagenesis in maize. This system consists of an Escherichia coli cloning vector and an Agrobacterium binary vector. It can be used to clone up to four guide RNAs for single or multiplex gene targeting. We evaluated this system for its mutagenesis frequency and heritability using four maize genes in two duplicated pairs: Argonaute 18 (ZmAgo18a and ZmAgo18b) and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase or anthocyaninless genes (a1 and a4). T0 transgenic events carrying mono- or diallelic mutations of one locus and various combinations of allelic mutations of two loci occurred at rates over 70% mutants per transgenic events in both Hi-II and B104 genotypes. Through genetic segregation, null segregants carrying only the desired mutant alleles without the CRISPR transgene could be generated in T1 progeny. Inheritance of an active CRISPR/Cas9 transgene leads to additional target-specific mutations in subsequent generations. Duplex infection of immature embryos by mixing two individual Agrobacterium strains harbouring different Cas9/gRNA modules can be performed for improved cost efficiency. Together, the findings demonstrate that the ISU Maize CRISPR platform is an effective and robust tool to targeted mutagenesis in maize.
Project description:The TP53 gene encodes the transcription factor and oncosuppressor p53 protein that regulates a multitude of intracellular metabolic pathways involved in DNA damage repair, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and senescence. In many cases, alterations (e.g., mutations of the TP53 gene) negatively affect these pathways resulting in tumor development. Recent advances in genome manipulation technologies, CRISPR/Cas9, in particular, brought us closer to therapeutic gene editing for the treatment of cancer and hereditary diseases. Genome-editing therapies for blood disorders, blindness, and cancer are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Eventually CRISPR/Cas9 technology is expected to target TP53 as the most mutated gene in all types of cancers. A majority of TP53 mutations are missense which brings immense opportunities for the CRISPR/Cas9 system that has been successfully used for correcting single nucleotides in various models, both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we highlight the recent clinical applications of CRISPR/Cas9 technology for therapeutic genome editing and discuss its perspectives for editing TP53 and regulating transcription of p53 pathway genes.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 technology has opened the possibility for targeted genome editing in various organisms including diatom model organisms. One standard method for delivery of vectors to diatom cells is by biolistic particle bombardment. Recently delivery by conjugation was added to the tool-box. An important difference between these methods is that biolistic transformation results in transgene integration of vector DNA into the algae genome, whereas conjugative transformation allows the vector to be maintained as an episome in the recipient cells. In this study, we have used both transformation methods to deliver the CRISPR/Cas9 system to the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum aiming to induce mutations in a common target gene. This allowed us to compare the two CRISPR/Cas9 delivery systems with regard to mutation efficiency, and to assess potential problems connected to constitutive expression of Cas9. We found that the percentage of CRISPR-induced targeted biallelic mutations are similar for both methods, but an extended growth period might be needed to induce biallelic mutations when the CRISPR/Cas9 system is episomal. Independent of the CRISPR/Cas9 vector system, constitutive expression of Cas9 can cause re-editing of mutant lines with small indels. Complications associated with the biolistic transformation system like the permanent and random integration of foreign DNA into the host genome and unstable mutant lines caused by constitutive expression of Cas9 can be avoided using the episomal CRISPR/Cas9 system. The episomal vector can be eliminated from the diatom cells by removal of selection pressure, resulting in transient Cas9 expression and non-transgenic mutant lines. Depending on legislation, such lines might be considered as non-GMOs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Genetic engineering technology such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system provides a powerful tool for developing disease models and determining gene functions. Recent interests in canine cancer models have highlighted the necessity of developing genetic engineering tools for dogs. In this study, we attempted to generate optimized CRISPR/Cas9 system to target canine tumor protein 53 (TP53), one of the most crucial tumor suppressor genes, to establish TP53 knockout canine cells for canine cancer research. RESULTS:We constructed CRISPR/Cas9 vectors using each of three TP53 gene-targeting guide RNAs (gRNAs) with minimal off-target potential. After transfection, we obtained several clones of TP53 knockout cells containing "indel" mutations in the targeted locus which had infinite cellular life span, resistance to genotoxicity, and unstable genomic status in contrast to normal cells. Of the established TP53 knockout cells, TP53KO#30 cells targeted by TP53 gRNA #30 showed non-cancerous phenotypes without oncogenic activation both in vitro and in vivo. More importantly, no off-target alteration was detected in TP53KO#30 cells. We also tested the developmental capacity of TP53 knockout cells after application of the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique. CONCLUSIONS:Our results indicated that TP53 in canine cells was effectively and specifically targeted by our CRISPR/Cas9 system. Thus, we suggest our CRISPR/Cas9-derived canine TP53 knockout cells as a useful platform to reveal novel oncogenic functions and effects of developing anti-cancer therapeutics.
Project description:As a new technology for gene editing, the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)/Cas (CRISPR-associated) system has been rapidly and widely used for genome engineering in various organisms. In the present study, we successfully applied type II CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate and estimate genome editing in the desired target genes in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill.). The single-guide RNA (sgRNA) and Cas9 cassettes were assembled on one vector to improve transformation efficiency, and we designed a sgRNA that targeted a transgene (bar) and six sgRNAs that targeted different sites of two endogenous soybean genes (GmFEI2 and GmSHR). The targeted DNA mutations were detected in soybean hairy roots. The results demonstrated that this customized CRISPR/Cas9 system shared the same efficiency for both endogenous and exogenous genes in soybean hairy roots. We also performed experiments to detect the potential of CRISPR/Cas9 system to simultaneously edit two endogenous soybean genes using only one customized sgRNA. Overall, generating and detecting the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome modifications in target genes of soybean hairy roots could rapidly assess the efficiency of each target loci. The target sites with higher efficiencies can be used for regular soybean transformation. Furthermore, this method provides a powerful tool for root-specific functional genomics studies in soybean.
Project description:Developing nanomaterials that are effective, safe, and selective for gene transfer applications is challenging. Bacteriophages (phage), viruses that infect bacteria only, have shown promise for targeted gene transfer applications. Unfortunately, limited progress has been achieved in improving their potential to overcome mammalian cellular barriers. We hypothesized that chemical modification of the bacteriophage capsid could be applied to improve targeted gene delivery by phage vectors into mammalian cells. Here, we introduce a novel hybrid system consisting of two classes of nanomaterial systems, cationic polymers and M13 bacteriophage virus particles genetically engineered to display a tumor-targeting ligand and carry a transgene cassette. We demonstrate that the phage complex with cationic polymers generates positively charged phage and large aggregates that show enhanced cell surface attachment, buffering capacity, and improved transgene expression while retaining cell type specificity. Moreover, phage/polymer complexes carrying a therapeutic gene achieve greater cancer cell killing than phage alone. This new class of hybrid nanomaterial platform can advance targeted gene delivery applications by bacteriophage.