Systemic nanoparticle delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins for effective tissue specific genome editing.
ABSTRACT: CRISPR-Cas9 has emerged as a powerful technology that relies on Cas9/sgRNA ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) to target and edit DNA. However, many therapeutic targets cannot currently be accessed due to the lack of carriers that can deliver RNPs systemically. Here, we report a generalizable methodology that allows engineering of modified lipid nanoparticles to efficiently deliver RNPs into cells and edit tissues including muscle, brain, liver, and lungs. Intravenous injection facilitated tissue-specific, multiplexed editing of six genes in mouse lungs. High carrier potency was leveraged to create organ-specific cancer models in livers and lungs of mice though facile knockout of multiple genes. The developed carriers were also able to deliver RNPs to restore dystrophin expression in DMD mice and significantly decrease serum PCSK9 level in C57BL/6 mice. Application of this generalizable strategy will facilitate broad nanoparticle development for a variety of disease targets amenable to protein delivery and precise gene correction approaches.
Project description:RNA-guided engineered nucleases (RGENs) derived from the prokaryotic adaptive immune system known as CRISPR (clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat)/Cas (CRISPR-associated) enable genome editing in human cell lines, animals, and plants, but are limited by off-target effects and unwanted integration of DNA segments derived from plasmids encoding Cas9 and guide RNA at both on-target and off-target sites in the genome. Here, we deliver purified recombinant Cas9 protein and guide RNA into cultured human cells including hard-to-transfect fibroblasts and pluripotent stem cells. RGEN ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) induce site-specific mutations at frequencies of up to 79%, while reducing off-target mutations associated with plasmid transfection at off-target sites that differ by one or two nucleotides from on-target sites. RGEN RNPs cleave chromosomal DNA almost immediately after delivery and are degraded rapidly in cells, reducing off-target effects. Furthermore, RNP delivery is less stressful to human embryonic stem cells, producing at least twofold more colonies than does plasmid transfection.
Project description:T-cell genome engineering holds great promise for cell-based therapies for cancer, HIV, primary immune deficiencies, and autoimmune diseases, but genetic manipulation of human T cells has been challenging. Improved tools are needed to efficiently "knock out" genes and "knock in" targeted genome modifications to modulate T-cell function and correct disease-associated mutations. CRISPR/Cas9 technology is facilitating genome engineering in many cell types, but in human T cells its efficiency has been limited and it has not yet proven useful for targeted nucleotide replacements. Here we report efficient genome engineering in human CD4(+) T cells using Cas9:single-guide RNA ribonucleoproteins (Cas9 RNPs). Cas9 RNPs allowed ablation of CXCR4, a coreceptor for HIV entry. Cas9 RNP electroporation caused up to ?40% of cells to lose high-level cell-surface expression of CXCR4, and edited cells could be enriched by sorting based on low CXCR4 expression. Importantly, Cas9 RNPs paired with homology-directed repair template oligonucleotides generated a high frequency of targeted genome modifications in primary T cells. Targeted nucleotide replacement was achieved in CXCR4 and PD-1 (PDCD1), a regulator of T-cell exhaustion that is a validated target for tumor immunotherapy. Deep sequencing of a target site confirmed that Cas9 RNPs generated knock-in genome modifications with up to ?20% efficiency, which accounted for up to approximately one-third of total editing events. These results establish Cas9 RNP technology for diverse experimental and therapeutic genome engineering applications in primary human T cells.
Project description:RNA-guided genome surgery using CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases has shown promise for the treatment of diverse genetic diseases. Yet, the potential of such nucleases for therapeutic applications in nongenetic diseases is largely unexplored. Here, we focus on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in adults, which is associated with retinal overexpression of, rather than mutations in, the VEGFA gene. Subretinal injection of preassembled, Vegfa gene-specific Cas9 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) into the adult mouse eye gave rise to mutagenesis at the target site in the retinal pigment epithelium. Furthermore, Cas9 RNPs effectively reduced the area of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in a mouse model of AMD. Genome-wide profiling of Cas9 off-target effects via Digenome-seq showed that off-target mutations were rarely induced in the human genome. Because Cas9 RNPs can function immediately after in vivo delivery and are rapidly degraded by endogenous proteases, their activities are unlikely to be hampered by antibody- and cell-mediated adaptive immune systems. Our results demonstrate that in vivo genome editing with Cas9 RNPs has the potential for the local treatment for nongenetic degenerative diseases, expanding the scope of RNA-guided genome surgery to a new dimension.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas9 ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes are promising biological tools with diverse biomedical applications. However, to date there are no efficient methods that can produce these proteins at large scales and low cost. Here, we present a streamlined method for direct production of Cas9 RNPs from <i>Escherichia coli</i> by co-expression of Cas9 and the target-specific single-guided RNAs. Harnessing an ultrahigh-affinity CL7/Im7 purification system recently developed we achieve one-step purification of the self-assembling CRISPR/Cas RNPs, including the commonly used Cas9 and Cas12a, within half a day and with a ~fourfold higher yield than incumbent methods. The prepared Cas RNPs show remarkable stability in the absence of RNase inhibitors, as well as profound gene-editing efficiency in vitro and in vivo. Our method is convenient, cost-effective, and can be used to prepare other CRISPR/Cas RNPs.
Project description:New genetic tools are needed to understand the functional interactions between HIV and human host factors in primary cells. We recently developed a method to edit the genome of primary CD4+ T cells by electroporation of CRISPR/Cas9 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs). Here, we adapted this methodology to a high-throughput platform for the efficient, arrayed editing of candidate host factors. CXCR4 or CCR5 knockout cells generated with this method are resistant to HIV infection in a tropism-dependent manner, whereas knockout of LEDGF or TNPO3 results in a tropism-independent reduction in infection. CRISPR/Cas9 RNPs can furthermore edit multiple genes simultaneously, enabling studies of interactions among multiple host and viral factors. Finally, in an arrayed screen of 45 genes associated with HIV integrase, we identified several candidate dependency/restriction factors, demonstrating the power of this approach as a discovery platform. This technology should accelerate target validation for pharmaceutical and cell-based therapies to cure HIV infection.
Project description:Genome editing in human cells with targeted nucleases now enables diverse experimental and therapeutic genome engineering applications, but extension to primary human B cells remains limited. Here we report a method for targeted genetic engineering in primary human B cells, utilizing electroporation of CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) to introduce gene knockout mutations at protein-coding loci with high efficiencies that in some cases exceeded 80%. Further, we demonstrate knock-in editing of targeted nucleotides with efficiency exceeding 10% through co-delivery of oligonucleotide templates for homology directed repair. We delivered Cas9 RNPs in two distinct in vitro culture systems to achieve editing in both undifferentiated B cells and activated B cells undergoing differentiation, reflecting utility in diverse experimental conditions. In summary, we demonstrate a powerful and scalable research tool for functional genetic studies of human B cell biology that may have further applications in engineered B cell therapeutics.
Project description:Technologies that can safely edit genes in the brains of adult animals may revolutionize the treatment of neurological diseases and the understanding of brain function. Here, we demonstrate that intracranial injection of CRISPR-Gold, a nonviral delivery vehicle for the CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoprotein, can edit genes in the brains of adult mice in multiple mouse models. CRISPR-Gold can deliver both Cas9 and Cpf1 ribonucleoproteins, and can edit all of the major cell types in the brain, including neurons, astrocytes and microglia, with undetectable levels of toxicity at the doses used. We also show that CRISPR-Gold designed to target the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) gene can efficiently reduce local mGluR5 levels in the striatum after an intracranial injection. The effect can also rescue mice from the exaggerated repetitive behaviours caused by fragile X syndrome, a common single-gene form of autism spectrum disorders. CRISPR-Gold may significantly accelerate the development of brain-targeted therapeutics and enable the rapid development of focal brain-knockout animal models.
Project description:Efficient gene deletion methods are essential for the high-throughput study of gene function. Compared to most ascomycete model systems, gene deletion is more laborious in mushroom-forming basidiomycetes due to the relatively low incidence of homologous recombination (HR) and relatively high incidence of non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). Here, we describe the use of pre-assembled Cas9-sgRNA ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) to efficiently delete the homeodomain transcription factor gene hom2 in the mushroom-forming basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune by replacing it with a selectable marker. All components (Cas9 protein, sgRNA, and repair template with selectable marker) were supplied to wild type protoplasts by PEG-mediated transformation, abolishing the need to optimize the expression of cas9 and sgRNAs. A Δku80 background further increased the efficiency of gene deletion. A repair template with homology arms of 250 bp was sufficient to efficiently induce homologous recombination. This is the first report of the use of pre-assembled Cas9 RNPs in a mushroom-forming basidiomycete and this approach may also improve the genetic accessibility of non-model species.
Project description:The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 has emerged as a versatile genome-editing platform. However, the size of the commonly used Cas9 from Streptococcus pyogenes (SpCas9) limits its utility for basic research and therapeutic applications that use the highly versatile adeno-associated virus (AAV) delivery vehicle. Here, we characterize six smaller Cas9 orthologues and show that Cas9 from Staphylococcus aureus (SaCas9) can edit the genome with efficiencies similar to those of SpCas9, while being more than 1 kilobase shorter. We packaged SaCas9 and its single guide RNA expression cassette into a single AAV vector and targeted the cholesterol regulatory gene Pcsk9 in the mouse liver. Within one week of injection, we observed >40% gene modification, accompanied by significant reductions in serum Pcsk9 and total cholesterol levels. We further assess the genome-wide targeting specificity of SaCas9 and SpCas9 using BLESS, and demonstrate that SaCas9-mediated in vivo genome editing has the potential to be efficient and specific.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas9 technology is accelerating genome engineering in many cell types, but so far, gene delivery and stable gene modification have been challenging in primary NK cells. For example, transgene delivery using lentiviral or retroviral transduction resulted in a limited yield of genetically-engineered NK cells due to substantial procedure-associated NK cell apoptosis. We describe here a DNA-free method for genome editing of human primary and expanded NK cells using Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complexes (Cas9/RNPs). This method allowed efficient knockout of the TGFBR2 and HPRT1 genes in NK cells. RT-PCR data showed a significant decrease in gene expression level, and a cytotoxicity assay of a representative cell product suggested that the RNP-modified NK cells became less sensitive to TGF?. Genetically modified cells could be expanded post-electroporation by stimulation with irradiated mbIL21-expressing feeder cells.