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      Efficient homology-directed gene editing by CRISPR/Cas9 in human stem and primary cells using tube electroporation

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          Abstract

          CRISPR/Cas9 efficiently generates gene knock-out via nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), but the efficiency of precise homology-directed repair (HDR) is substantially lower, especially in the hard-to-transfect human stem cells and primary cells. Herein we report a tube electroporation method that can effectively transfect human stem cells and primary cells with minimal cytotoxicity. When applied to genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 along with single stranded DNA oligonucleotide (ssODN) template in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), up to 42.1% HDR rate was achieved, drastically higher than many reported before. We demonstrated that the high HDR efficiency can be utilized to increase the gene ablation rate in cells relevant to clinical applications, by knocking-out β2-microglobulin (B2M) in primary human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs, 37.3% to 80.2%), and programmed death-1 (PD-1) in primary human T cells (42.6% to 58.6%). Given the generality and efficiency, we expect that the method will have immediate impacts in cell research as well as immuno- and transplantation therapies.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Efficient Delivery of Genome-Editing Proteins In Vitro and In Vivo

          Efficient intracellular delivery of proteins is needed to fully realize the potential of protein therapeutics. Current methods of protein delivery commonly suffer from low tolerance for serum, poor endosomal escape, and limited in vivo efficacy. Here we report that common cationic lipid nucleic acid transfection reagents can potently deliver proteins that are fused to negatively supercharged proteins, that contain natural anionic domains, or that natively bind to anionic nucleic acids. This approach mediates the potent delivery of nM concentrations of Cre recombinase, TALE- and Cas9-based transcriptional activators, and Cas9:sgRNA nuclease complexes into cultured human cells in media containing 10% serum. Delivery of Cas9:sgRNA complexes resulted in up to 80% genome modification with substantially higher specificity compared to DNA transfection. This approach also mediated efficient delivery of Cre recombinase and Cas9:sgRNA complexes into the mouse inner ear in vivo, achieving 90% Cre-mediated recombination and 20% Cas9-mediated genome modification in hair cells.
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            Chemically modified guide RNAs enhance CRISPR-Cas genome editing in human primary cells.

            CRISPR-Cas-mediated genome editing relies on guide RNAs that direct site-specific DNA cleavage facilitated by the Cas endonuclease. Here we report that chemical alterations to synthesized single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) enhance genome editing efficiency in human primary T cells and CD34(+) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Co-delivering chemically modified sgRNAs with Cas9 mRNA or protein is an efficient RNA- or ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-based delivery method for the CRISPR-Cas system, without the toxicity associated with DNA delivery. This approach is a simple and effective way to streamline the development of genome editing with the potential to accelerate a wide array of biotechnological and therapeutic applications of the CRISPR-Cas technology.
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              Generation of knock-in primary human T cells using Cas9 ribonucleoproteins.

              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.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                jiex@umich.edu
                xiaofengxia01@gmail.com
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                3 August 2018
                3 August 2018
                2018
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0445 0041, GRID grid.63368.38, Chao Center for BRAIN, Department of Systems Medicine and Bioengineering, , Houston Methodist Research Institute, ; Houston, Texas USA
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8972, GRID grid.25879.31, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, , University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, ; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
                [3 ]Celetrix Biotechnologies, Manassas, Virginia USA
                [4 ]ISNI 0000000086837370, GRID grid.214458.e, Center for Advanced Models and Translational Sciences and Therapeutics, , University of Michigan Medical School, ; Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800 USA
                [5 ]ISNI 000000041936877X, GRID grid.5386.8, Weill Cornell Medical College, , Cornell University, New York, ; New York, USA
                Article
                30227
                10.1038/s41598-018-30227-w
                6076306
                30076383
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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