Efficient Gene Editing at Major CFTR Mutation Loci

Jinxue Ruan, Hiroyuki Hirai, Dongshan Yang, Linyuan Ma, Xia Hou, Hong Jiang, Hongguang Wei, Carthic Rajagopalan, Hongmei Mou, Guoshun Wang, Jifeng Zhang, Kui Li, Yuqing E. Chen, Fei Sun*, Jie Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a lethal autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Nuclease-mediated precise gene editing (PGE) represents a promising therapy for CF, for which an efficient strategy that is free of viral vector, drug selection, and reporter enrichment (VDR free) is desirable. Here we compared different transfection methods (lipofectamine versus electroporation) and formats (plasmid DNA versus ribonucleoprotein) in delivering the CRISPR/Cas9 elements along with single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides (ssODNs) to clinically relevant cells targeting major CFTR mutation loci. We demonstrate that, among different combinations, electroporation of CRISPR/Cas9 and guide RNA (gRNA) ribonucleoprotein (Cas9 RNP) is the most effective one. By using this VDR-free method, 4.8% to 27.2% efficiencies were achieved in creating dF508, G542X, and G551D mutations in a wild-type induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line. When it is applied to a patient-derived iPSC line carrying the dF508 mutation, a greater than 20% precise correction rate was achieved. As expected, genetic correction leads to the restoration of CFTR function in iPSC-derived proximal lung organoids, as well as in a patient-derived adenocarcinoma cell line CFPAC-1. The present work demonstrates the feasibility of gene editing-based therapeutics toward monogenic diseases such as CF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids
StatePublished - Jun 7 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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