Title: NHEJ-Mediated Repair of CRISPR-Cas9-Induced DNA Breaks Efficiently Corrects Mutations in HSPCs from Patients with Fanconi Anemia
Author: Francisco José Román-Rodríguez, Laura Ugalde, Lara álvarez, Begoa Díez, María José Ramírez, Cristina Risueo, Marta Cortón, Massimo Bogliolo, Sara Bernal, Francesca March, Carmen Ayuso, Helmut Hanenberg, Julián Sevilla, Sandra Rodríguez-Perales, Raúl Torres-Ruiz, Jordi Surrallés, Juan Antonio Bueren, Paula Río
Issue&Volume: 19 September 2019
Non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) is the preferred mechanism used by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to repair double-stranded DNA breaks and is particularly increased in cells deficient in the Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway. Here, we show feasible correction of compromised functional phenotypes in hematopoietic cells from multiple FA complementation groups, including FA-A, FA-C, FA-D1, and FA-D2. NHEJ-mediated repair of targeted CRISPR-Cas9-induced DNA breaks generated compensatory insertions and deletions that restore the coding frame of the mutated gene. NHEJ-mediated editing efficacy was initially verified in FA lymphoblastic cell lines and then in primary FA patient-derived CD34 + cells, which showed marked proliferative advantage and phenotypic correction both in vitro and after transplantation. Importantly, and in contrast to homologous directed repair, NHEJ efficiently targeted primitive human HSCs, indicating that NHEJ editing approaches may constitute a sound alternative for editing self-renewing human HSCs and consequently for treatment of FA and other monogenic diseases affecting the hematopoietic system.