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Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2019 Nov 27;17:156-173. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2019.11.016. eCollection 2020 Jun 12.

Genome Editing in Patient iPSCs Corrects the Most Prevalent USH2A Mutations and Reveals Intriguing Mutant mRNA Expression Profiles.

Author information

1
Inserm U1051, Institute for Neurosciences of Montpellier, 34091 Montpellier, France.
2
University of Montpellier, 34095 Montpellier, France.
3
Medical Genetics Laboratory, CHU, 34093 Montpellier, France.
4
National Reference Centre for Inherited Sensory Disorders, CHU, 34295 Montpellier, France.

Abstract

Inherited retinal dystrophies (IRDs) are characterized by progressive photoreceptor degeneration and vision loss. Usher syndrome (USH) is a syndromic IRD characterized by retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and hearing loss. USH is clinically and genetically heterogeneous, and the most prevalent causative gene is USH2A. USH2A mutations also account for a large number of isolated autosomal recessive RP (arRP) cases. This high prevalence is due to two recurrent USH2A mutations, c.2276G>T and c.2299delG. Due to the large size of the USH2A cDNA, gene augmentation therapy is inaccessible. However, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing is a viable alternative. We used enhanced specificity Cas9 of Streptococcus pyogenes (eSpCas9) to successfully achieve seamless correction of the two most prevalent USH2A mutations in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of patients with USH or arRP. Our results highlight features that promote high target efficacy and specificity of eSpCas9. Consistently, we did not identify any off-target mutagenesis in the corrected iPSCs, which also retained pluripotency and genetic stability. Furthermore, analysis of USH2A expression unexpectedly identified aberrant mRNA levels associated with the c.2276G>T and c.2299delG mutations that were reverted following correction. Taken together, our efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated strategy for USH2A mutation correction brings hope for a potential treatment for USH and arRP patients.

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