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Cell Stem Cell. 2019 Apr 4;24(4):551-565.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2019.02.019. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Precise Gene Editing Preserves Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function following Transient p53-Mediated DNA Damage Response.

Author information

1
San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget), IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milan, Italy.
2
San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget), IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milan, Italy; Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, 20132 Milan, Italy.
3
San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget), IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milan, Italy; Milano-Bicocca University, 20126 Milan, Italy.
4
Milano-Bicocca University, 20126 Milan, Italy; Institute for Biomedical Technologies, National Research Council, 20090 Segrate, Italy.
5
Tumor Genomics Unit, Department of Experimental Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.
6
Inserm U1016, Institut Cochin, 75014 Paris, France; CNRS UMR8104, Paris, France; Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, France.
7
CUSSB-University Center for Statistics in the Biomedical Sciences, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, 20132 Milan, Italy.
8
Institute for Biomedical Technologies, National Research Council, 20090 Segrate, Italy.
9
San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget), IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milan, Italy. Electronic address: genovese.pietro@hsr.it.
10
San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget), IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milan, Italy; Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, 20132 Milan, Italy. Electronic address: naldini.luigi@hsr.it.
11
San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget), IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milan, Italy. Electronic address: dimicco.raffaella@hsr.it.

Abstract

Precise gene editing in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) holds promise for treating genetic diseases. However, responses triggered by programmable nucleases in HSPCs are poorly characterized and may negatively impact HSPC engraftment and long-term repopulation capacity. Here, we induced either one or several DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) with optimized zinc-finger and CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases and monitored DNA damage response (DDR) foci induction, cell-cycle progression, and transcriptional responses in HSPC subpopulations, with up to single-cell resolution. p53-mediated DDR pathway activation was the predominant response to even single-nuclease-induced DSBs across all HSPC subtypes analyzed. Excess DSB load and/or adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated delivery of DNA repair templates induced cumulative p53 pathway activation, constraining proliferation, yield, and engraftment of edited HSPCs. However, functional impairment was reversible when DDR burden was low and could be overcome by transient p53 inhibition. These findings provide molecular and functional evidence for feasible and seamless gene editing in HSPCs.

KEYWORDS:

DNA damage response; DNA double strand breaks; adeno-associated vector; genome editing; hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells; p53 pathway; programmable nucleases

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