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Selective germline genome edited pigs and their long immune tolerance in Non Human Primates

By Lijin Zou, Youlai Zhang, Ying He, Hui Yu, Jun Chen, Delong Liu, Sixiong Lin, Manman Gao, Gang Zhong, Weicheng Lei, Guangqian Zhou, Xuenong Zou, Kai Li, Yin Yu, Gaofeng Zha, Linxian Li, Yuanlin Zeng, Jianfei Wang, Gang Wang

Posted 21 Jan 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.20.912105

Organ transplantation is the only curative treatment for patients with terminal organ failure, however, there is a worldwide organ shortage. Genetically modified pig organs and tissues have become an attractive and practical alternative solution for the severe organ shortage, which has been made possible by significant progress in xenotransplantation in recent years. The past several decades witnessed an expanding list of genetically engineered pigs due to technology advancements, however, the necessary combination of genetic modifications in pig for human organ xenotransplantation has not been determined. In the current study, we created a selective germline genome edited pig (SGGEP). The first triple xenoantigens (GGTA, B4GAL, and CAMH) knockout somatic cells were generated to serve as a prototype cells and then human proteins were expressed in the xenoantigen knockout cells, which include human complement system negative regulatory proteins (CD46, CD55, and CD59); human coagulation system negative regulatory proteins thrombomodulin (THBD); tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI); CD39; macrophage negative regulatory proteins (human CD47); and natural killer cell negative regulatory human HLA-E. After the successful establishment of SGGEP by the nuclear tranfer, we engrafted SGGEP skin to NHP, up to 25 days graft survival without immunosuppressive drugs was observed. Because a pig skin graft does not impact the success of a subsequent allograft or autograft or vice versa, thus our SGGEP could have a great potential for clinical value to save severe and large area burn patients and the other human organ failure. Therefore, this combination of specific gene modifications is a major milestone and provides proof of concept to initiate investigator-initiated clinical trials (IITs) in severe burn patients with defined processes and governance measures in place and the other clinical application.

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