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CRISPR RNA-guided FokI nucleases repair a PAH variant in a phenylketonuria model


Pan, Yi; Shen, Nan; Jung-Klawitter, Sabine; Betzen, Christian; Hoffmann, Georg F; Hoheisel, Jörg D; Blau, Nenad (2016). CRISPR RNA-guided FokI nucleases repair a PAH variant in a phenylketonuria model. Scientific Reports, 6:35794.

Abstract

The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a recently developed genome editing technique. In this study, we used a modified CRISPR system, which employs the fusion of inactive Cas9 (dCas9) and the FokI endonuclease (FokI-dCas9) to correct the most common variant (allele frequency 21.4%) in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene - c.1222C>T (p.Arg408Trp) - as an approach toward curing phenylketonuria (PKU). PKU is the most common inherited diseases in amino acid metabolism. It leads to severe neurological and neuropsychological symptoms if untreated or late diagnosed. Correction of the disease-causing variants could rescue residual PAH activity and restore normal function. Co-expression of a single guide RNA plasmid, a FokI-dCas9-zsGreen1 plasmid, and the presence of a single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide in PAH_c.1222C>T COS-7 cells - an in vitro model for PKU - corrected the PAH variant and restored PAH activity. Also in this system, the HDR enhancer RS-1 improved correction efficiency. This proof-of-concept indicates the potential of the FokI-dCas9 system for precision medicine, in particular for targeting PKU and other monogenic metabolic diseases.

Abstract

The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a recently developed genome editing technique. In this study, we used a modified CRISPR system, which employs the fusion of inactive Cas9 (dCas9) and the FokI endonuclease (FokI-dCas9) to correct the most common variant (allele frequency 21.4%) in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene - c.1222C>T (p.Arg408Trp) - as an approach toward curing phenylketonuria (PKU). PKU is the most common inherited diseases in amino acid metabolism. It leads to severe neurological and neuropsychological symptoms if untreated or late diagnosed. Correction of the disease-causing variants could rescue residual PAH activity and restore normal function. Co-expression of a single guide RNA plasmid, a FokI-dCas9-zsGreen1 plasmid, and the presence of a single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide in PAH_c.1222C>T COS-7 cells - an in vitro model for PKU - corrected the PAH variant and restored PAH activity. Also in this system, the HDR enhancer RS-1 improved correction efficiency. This proof-of-concept indicates the potential of the FokI-dCas9 system for precision medicine, in particular for targeting PKU and other monogenic metabolic diseases.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:27 October 2016
Deposited On:03 Feb 2017 08:40
Last Modified:04 Aug 2017 00:26
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/srep35794
PubMed ID:27786189

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