Extensive Mammalian Germline Genome Engineering
Tien Dat Nguyen,
Jacob V Layer,
Michele E. Youd,
Shi Yun Wang,
William F. Westlin,
George M. Church,
Posted 19 Dec 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2019.12.17.876862
Posted 19 Dec 2019
Xenotransplantation, specifically the use of porcine organs for human transplantation, has long been sought after as an alternative for patients suffering from organ failure. However, clinical application of this approach has been impeded by two main hurdles: 1) risk of transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) and 2) molecular incompatibilities between donor pigs and humans which culminate in rejection of the graft. We previously demonstrated that all 25 copies of the PERV elements in the pig genome could be inactivated and live pigs successfully generated. In this study, we improved the scale of porcine germline editing from targeting a single repetitive locus with CRISPR to engineering 13 different genes using multiple genome engineering methods. we engineered the pig genome at 42 alleles using CRISPR-Cas9 and transposon and produced PERVKO·3KO·9TG pigs which carry PERV inactivation, xeno-antigen KO and 9 effective human transgenes. The engineered pigs exhibit normal physiology, fertility, and germline transmission of the edited alleles. In vitro assays demonstrated that these pigs gain significant resistance to human humoral and cell mediated damage, and coagulation dysregulations, similar to that of allotransplantation. Successful creation of PERVKO·3KO·9TG pigs represents a significant step forward towards safe and effective porcine xenotransplantation, which also represents a synthetic biology accomplishment of engineering novel functions in a living organism. One Sentence Summary Extensive genome engineering is applied to modify pigs for safe and immune compatible organs for human transplantation
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