Gene editing by the CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease system technology can be considered among the most promising strategies to correct hereditary mutations in a variety of monogenic diseases. In this paper, we present for the first time the correction, by CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, of the β039-thalassemia mutation, one of the most frequent in the Mediterranean area. The results obtained demonstrated the presence of normal β-globin genes after CRISPR-Cas9 correction of the β039-thalassemia mutation performed on erythroid precursor cells from homozygous β039-thalassemia patients. This was demonstrated by allele-specific PCR and sequencing. Accumulation of corrected β-globin mRNA and relevant “de novo” production of β-globin and adult hemoglobin (HbA) were found with high efficiency. The CRISPR-Cas9-forced HbA production levels were associated with a significant reduction of the excess of free α-globin chains. Genomic toxicity of the editing procedure (low indels and no off-targeting) was analyzed. The protocol might be the starting point for the development of an efficient editing of CD34+ cells derived from β039 patients and for the design of combined treatments using, together with the CRISPR-Cas9 editing of the β-globin gene, other therapeutic approaches, such as, for instance, induction of HbA and/or fetal hemoglobin (HbF) using chemical inducers.

Efficient CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing of β-globin gene on erythroid cells from homozygous β039-thalassemia patients

Cosenza L. C.
Primo
Formal Analysis
;
Gasparello J.
Secondo
Formal Analysis
;
Zurlo M.
Formal Analysis
;
Zuccato C.
Formal Analysis
;
Gambari R.
Penultimo
Conceptualization
;
Finotti A.
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2021

Abstract

Gene editing by the CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease system technology can be considered among the most promising strategies to correct hereditary mutations in a variety of monogenic diseases. In this paper, we present for the first time the correction, by CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, of the β039-thalassemia mutation, one of the most frequent in the Mediterranean area. The results obtained demonstrated the presence of normal β-globin genes after CRISPR-Cas9 correction of the β039-thalassemia mutation performed on erythroid precursor cells from homozygous β039-thalassemia patients. This was demonstrated by allele-specific PCR and sequencing. Accumulation of corrected β-globin mRNA and relevant “de novo” production of β-globin and adult hemoglobin (HbA) were found with high efficiency. The CRISPR-Cas9-forced HbA production levels were associated with a significant reduction of the excess of free α-globin chains. Genomic toxicity of the editing procedure (low indels and no off-targeting) was analyzed. The protocol might be the starting point for the development of an efficient editing of CD34+ cells derived from β039 patients and for the design of combined treatments using, together with the CRISPR-Cas9 editing of the β-globin gene, other therapeutic approaches, such as, for instance, induction of HbA and/or fetal hemoglobin (HbF) using chemical inducers.
Cosenza, L. C.; Gasparello, J.; Romanini, N.; Zurlo, M.; Zuccato, C.; Gambari, R.; Finotti, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2462437
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