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Using CRISPR-Cas9 to Generate Gene-Corrected Autologous iPSCs for the Treatment of Inherited Retinal Degeneration.

Tue, 2018-05-15 14:28
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Using CRISPR-Cas9 to Generate Gene-Corrected Autologous iPSCs for the Treatment of Inherited Retinal Degeneration.

Mol Ther. 2017 Sep 06;25(9):1999-2013

Authors: Burnight ER, Gupta M, Wiley LA, Anfinson KR, Tran A, Triboulet R, Hoffmann JM, Klaahsen DL, Andorf JL, Jiao C, Sohn EH, Adur MK, Ross JW, Mullins RF, Daley GQ, Schlaeger TM, Stone EM, Tucker BA

Abstract
Patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise for autologous cell replacement. However, for many inherited diseases, treatment will likely require genetic repair pre-transplantation. Genome editing technologies are useful for this application. The purpose of this study was to develop CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing strategies to target and correct the three most common types of disease-causing variants in patient-derived iPSCs: (1) exonic, (2) deep intronic, and (3) dominant gain of function. We developed a homology-directed repair strategy targeting a homozygous Alu insertion in exon 9 of male germ cell-associated kinase (MAK) and demonstrated restoration of the retinal transcript and protein in patient cells. We generated a CRISPR-Cas9-mediated non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) approach to excise a major contributor to Leber congenital amaurosis, the IVS26 cryptic-splice mutation in CEP290, and demonstrated correction of the transcript and protein in patient iPSCs. Lastly, we designed allele-specific CRISPR guides that selectively target the mutant Pro23His rhodopsin (RHO) allele, which, following delivery to both patient iPSCs in vitro and pig retina in vivo, created a frameshift and premature stop that would prevent transcription of the disease-causing variant. The strategies developed in this study will prove useful for correcting a wide range of genetic variants in genes that cause inherited retinal degeneration.

PMID: 28619647 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Feeder-free differentiation of cells exhibiting characteristics of corneal endothelium from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

Tue, 2018-05-01 10:45
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Feeder-free differentiation of cells exhibiting characteristics of corneal endothelium from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

Biol Open. 2018 Apr 23;:

Authors: Wagoner MD, Bohrer LR, Aldrich BT, Greiner MA, Mullins RF, Worthington KS, Tucker BA, Wiley LA

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to devise a strategy for the derivation of corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs) from adult fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). IPSCs were generated from an adult human with normal ocular history via expression of OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC Neural crest cells (NCCs) were differentiated from iPSCs via addition of CHIR99021 and SB4315542. NCCs were driven toward a CEnC fate via addition of B27, PDGF-BB and DKK-2 to CEnC media. Differentiation of NCCs and CEnCs was evaluated via rt-PCR, morphological and immunocytochemical analysis. At 17 days post-NCC induction, there were notable changes in cell morphology and upregulation of the neural crest lineage transcripts PAX3, SOX9, TFAP2A, SOX10 and p75NTR and the proteins p75/NGFR and SOX10. Exposure of NCCs to B27, PDGF-BB and DKK-2 induced a shift in morphology from a spindle-shaped neural phenotype to a tightly-packed hexagonal appearance and increased expression of the transcripts ATP1A1, COL8A1, COL8A2, AQP1 and CDH2 and the proteins, ZO-1, N-Cad, AQP-1 and Na+/K+ATPase. Replacement of NCC media with CEnC media on day 3, 5 or 8 reduced the differentiation time needed to yield CEnCs. IPSC-derived CEnCs could be used for evaluation of cornea endothelial disease pathophysiology and for testing of novel therapeutics.

PMID: 29685994 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Generation of Xeno-Free, cGMP-Compliant Patient-Specific iPSCs from Skin Biopsy.

Tue, 2018-05-01 10:45
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Generation of Xeno-Free, cGMP-Compliant Patient-Specific iPSCs from Skin Biopsy.

Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol. 2017 Aug 14;42:4A.12.1-4A.12.14

Authors: Wiley LA, Anfinson KR, Cranston CM, Kaalberg EE, Collins MM, Mullins RF, Stone EM, Tucker BA

Abstract
This unit describes protocols for the generation of clinical-grade patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived retinal cells from patients with inherited retinal degenerative blindness. Specifically, we describe how, using xeno-free reagents in an ISO class 5 environment, one can isolate and culture dermal fibroblasts, generate iPSCs, and derive autologous retinal cells via 3-D differentiation. The universal methods described herein for the isolation of dermal fibroblasts and generation of iPSCs can be employed regardless of disease, tissue, or cell type of interest. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

PMID: 28806854 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

cGMP production of patient-specific iPSCs and photoreceptor precursor cells to treat retinal degenerative blindness.

Tue, 2018-05-01 10:45
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cGMP production of patient-specific iPSCs and photoreceptor precursor cells to treat retinal degenerative blindness.

Sci Rep. 2016 07 29;6:30742

Authors: Wiley LA, Burnight ER, DeLuca AP, Anfinson KR, Cranston CM, Kaalberg EE, Penticoff JA, Affatigato LM, Mullins RF, Stone EM, Tucker BA

Abstract
Immunologically-matched, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived photoreceptor precursor cells have the potential to restore vision to patients with retinal degenerative diseases like retinitis pigmentosa. The purpose of this study was to develop clinically-compatible methods for manufacturing photoreceptor precursor cells from adult skin in a non-profit cGMP environment. Biopsies were obtained from 35 adult patients with inherited retinal degeneration and fibroblast lines were established under ISO class 5 cGMP conditions. Patient-specific iPSCs were then generated, clonally expanded and validated. Post-mitotic photoreceptor precursor cells were generated using a stepwise cGMP-compliant 3D differentiation protocol. The recapitulation of the enhanced S-cone phenotype in retinal organoids generated from a patient with NR2E3 mutations demonstrated the fidelity of these protocols. Transplantation into immune compromised animals revealed no evidence of abnormal proliferation or tumor formation. These studies will enable clinical trials to test the safety and efficiency of patient-specific photoreceptor cell replacement in humans.

PMID: 27471043 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering: Treating inherited retinal degeneration.

Tue, 2018-04-03 03:00
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CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering: Treating inherited retinal degeneration.

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2018 Mar 22;:

Authors: Burnight ER, Giacalone JC, Cooke JA, Thompson JR, Bohrer LR, Chirco KR, Drack AV, Fingert JH, Worthington KS, Wiley LA, Mullins RF, Stone EM, Tucker BA

Abstract
Gene correction is a valuable strategy for treating inherited retinal degenerative diseases, a major cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Single gene defects cause the majority of these retinal dystrophies. Gene augmentation holds great promise if delivered early in the course of the disease, however, many patients carry mutations in genes too large to be packaged into adeno-associated viral vectors and some, when overexpressed via heterologous promoters, induce retinal toxicity. In addition to the aforementioned challenges, some patients have sustained significant photoreceptor cell loss at the time of diagnosis, rendering gene replacement therapy insufficient to treat the disease. These patients will require cell replacement to restore useful vision. Fortunately, the advent of induced pluripotent stem cell and CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technologies affords researchers and clinicians a powerful means by which to develop strategies to treat patients with inherited retinal dystrophies. In this review we will discuss the current developments in CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in vivo in animal models and in vitro in patient-derived cells to study and treat inherited retinal degenerative diseases.

PMID: 29578069 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Evaluation of sFLT1 protein levels in human eyes with the FLT1 rs9943922 polymorphism.

Tue, 2018-04-03 03:00
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Evaluation of sFLT1 protein levels in human eyes with the FLT1 rs9943922 polymorphism.

Ophthalmic Genet. 2018 Jan-Feb;39(1):68-72

Authors: Chirco KR, Lewis CJ, Scheetz TE, Johnston RM, Tucker BA, Stone EM, Fingert JH, Mullins RF

Abstract
PURPOSE: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a devastating disease characterized by central vision impairment in individuals with advanced age. Neovascular AMD is a form of end-stage disease in which choroidal vessel outgrowth occurs beneath the retina. While many hypotheses have been raised as to what triggers the formation of pathological choroidal neovascular membranes, the exact mechanism for their initiation remains unresolved. Polymorphisms in the FLT1 gene have previously been associated with neovascular AMD risk, including the rs9943922 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Here, we aimed to determine the association between the high-risk FLT1 genotype and FLT1 protein levels in human retina or retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid tissue.
METHODS: Retina and RPE/choroid tissue from 10 human donor eyes was selected from a collection of eyes genotyped for the rs9943922 SNP. Differences in soluble and membrane bound FLT1 protein levels were assessed for retina versus RPE/choroid donor tissue using ELISA and Western blotting analyses. Genotype-associated changes in FLT1 protein levels were also evaluated.
RESULTS: We found soluble FLT1 levels in the RPE/choroid tissue to be approximately three times higher than that of the retina (p < 0.001), while both samples have similar levels of the membrane bound form. When tissue with the rs9943922 SNP was compared with controls, no significant genotypic differences in FLT1 protein levels were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on these data, we conclude that the rs9943922 SNP in the FLT1 gene does not result in a large difference in FLT1 protein levels, regardless of whether it is the soluble or the membrane bound form.

PMID: 28949775 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]