Variations in the Forkhead Box G1 (FOXG1) gene cause FOXG1 syndrome spectrum, including the congenital variant of Rett syndrome, characterized by early onset of regression, Rett-like and jerky movements, and cortical visual impairment. Due to the largely unknown pathophysiological mechanisms downstream the impairment of this transcriptional regulator, a specific treatment is not yet available. Since both haploinsufficiency and hyper-expression of FOXG1 cause diseases in humans, we reasoned that adding a gene under nonnative regulatory sequences would be a risky strategy as opposed to a genome editing approach where the mutated gene is reversed into wild-type. Here, we demonstrate that an adeno-associated viruses (AAVs)-coupled CRISPR/Cas9 system is able to target and correct FOXG1 variants in patient-derived fibroblasts, induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived neurons. Variant-specific single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) and donor DNAs have been selected and cloned together with a mCherry/EGFP reporter system. Specific sgRNA recognition sequences were inserted upstream and downstream Cas9 CDS to allow self-cleavage and inactivation. We demonstrated that AAV serotypes vary in transduction efficiency depending on the target cell type, the best being AAV9 in fibroblasts and iPSC-derived neurons, and AAV2 in iPSCs. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of mCherry+/EGFP+ transfected cells demonstrated that the mutated alleles were repaired with high efficiency (20–35% reversion) and precision both in terms of allelic discrimination and off-target activity. The genome editing strategy tested in this study has proven to precisely repair FOXG1 and delivery through an AAV9-based system represents a step forward toward the development of a therapy for Rett syndrome.

Croci, S., Carriero, M.L., Capitani, K., Daga, S., Donati, F., Papa, F.T., et al. (2020). AAV-mediated FOXG1 gene editing in human Rett primary cells. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS [10.1038/s41431-020-0652-6].

AAV-mediated FOXG1 gene editing in human Rett primary cells

Croci S.;Carriero M. L.;Capitani K.;Daga S.;Donati F.;Papa F. T.;Frullanti E.;Lopergolo D.;Lamacchia V.;Tita R.;Giliberti A.;Benetti E.;Furini S.;Lo Rizzo C.;Renieri A.;Meloni I.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Variations in the Forkhead Box G1 (FOXG1) gene cause FOXG1 syndrome spectrum, including the congenital variant of Rett syndrome, characterized by early onset of regression, Rett-like and jerky movements, and cortical visual impairment. Due to the largely unknown pathophysiological mechanisms downstream the impairment of this transcriptional regulator, a specific treatment is not yet available. Since both haploinsufficiency and hyper-expression of FOXG1 cause diseases in humans, we reasoned that adding a gene under nonnative regulatory sequences would be a risky strategy as opposed to a genome editing approach where the mutated gene is reversed into wild-type. Here, we demonstrate that an adeno-associated viruses (AAVs)-coupled CRISPR/Cas9 system is able to target and correct FOXG1 variants in patient-derived fibroblasts, induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived neurons. Variant-specific single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) and donor DNAs have been selected and cloned together with a mCherry/EGFP reporter system. Specific sgRNA recognition sequences were inserted upstream and downstream Cas9 CDS to allow self-cleavage and inactivation. We demonstrated that AAV serotypes vary in transduction efficiency depending on the target cell type, the best being AAV9 in fibroblasts and iPSC-derived neurons, and AAV2 in iPSCs. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of mCherry+/EGFP+ transfected cells demonstrated that the mutated alleles were repaired with high efficiency (20–35% reversion) and precision both in terms of allelic discrimination and off-target activity. The genome editing strategy tested in this study has proven to precisely repair FOXG1 and delivery through an AAV9-based system represents a step forward toward the development of a therapy for Rett syndrome.
Croci, S., Carriero, M.L., Capitani, K., Daga, S., Donati, F., Papa, F.T., et al. (2020). AAV-mediated FOXG1 gene editing in human Rett primary cells. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS [10.1038/s41431-020-0652-6].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11365/1113132
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