In vitro validation of a CRISPR-mediated CFTR correction strategy for preclinical translation in pigs.

A new interesting article has been published in Hum Gene Ther. 2019 May 17. doi: 10.1089/hum.2019.074. and titled:

In vitro validation of a CRISPR-mediated CFTR correction strategy for preclinical translation in pigs.

Authors of this article are:

Zhou ZP, Yang LL, Cao H, Chen ZR, Zhang Y, Wen XY, Hu J.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Early efforts in CF gene therapy faced major challenges in delivery efficiency and sustained therapeutic gene expression. Recent advancements in engineered site-specific endonucleases such as CRISPR/Cas9 make permanent CFTR gene correction possible. However, because of safety concerns of the CRISPR/Cas9 system and challenges in in vivo delivery to inflamed CF airway, CRISPR-based gene correction strategies need to be tested in proper animal models. In this study, we aimed at creating vectors for testing CFTR gene correction in pig models. We constructed helper-dependent adenoviral (HD-Ad) vectors to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 and a donor template (a 6 kb LacZ or 8.7 kb human CFTR expression cassette) into cultured pig cells. We demonstrated precise integration of each donor into the GGTA1 safe harbor through Cas9-induced homology directed repair (HDR) with 3 kb homology arms. In addition, we showed that both LacZ and hCFTR were persistently expressed in transduced cells. Furthermore, we created a CFTR-deficient cell line for testing CFTR correction. We detected hCFTR mRNA and protein expression in cells transduced with the hCFTR vector. We also demonstrated CFTR function in the CF cells transduced with the HD-Ad delivering the CRISPR-Cas9 system and hCFTR donor at late cellular passages using the membrane potential sensitive dye-based assay (FLIPR). Combined with our previous report on gene delivery to pig airway basal cells, these data provide the feasibility of testing CRISPR/Cas9-mediated permanent human CFTR correction through HD-Ad vector delivery in pigs.

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