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Generation of hypoimmunogenic induced pluripotent stem cells by CRISPR-Cas9 system and detailed evaluation for clinical application

Molecular Therapy Methods & Clinical Development 2022
Kitano Y, et al

Yuko Kitano, Sayaka Nishimura, Tomoaki M. Kato, Anna Ueda, Kaho Takigawa, Masafumi Umekage, Masaki Nomura, Ayane Kawakami, Haruna Ogawa, Huaigeng Xu, Akitsu Hotta, Naoko Takasu, Masayoshi Tsukahara

In order to expand the promise of regenerative medicine using allogeneic induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), precise and efficient genome editing of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes would be advantageous to minimize the immune rejection caused by mismatches of HLA type. However, clinical-grade genome editing of multiple HLA genes in human iPSC lines remains unexplored. Here, we optimized the protocol for good manufacturing practice (GMP)-compatible CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to deplete the three gene locus (HLA-A, HLA-B, and CIITA genes) simultaneously in HLA homozygous iPSCs. The use of HLA homozygous iPSCs has one main advantage over heterozygous iPSCs for inducing biallelic knockout by a single gRNA. RNA-seq and flow cytometry analyses confirmed the successful depletion of HLAs, and lineage-specific differentiation into cardiomyocytes was verified. We also confirmed that the pluripotency of genome-edited iPSCs was successfully maintained by the three germ layers of differentiation. Moreover, whole-genome sequencing, karyotyping, and optical genome mapping analyses revealed no evident genomic abnormalities detected in some clones, whereas unexpected copy number losses, chromosomal translocations, and complex genomic rearrangements were observed in other clones. Our results indicate the importance of multidimensional analyses to ensure the safety and quality of the genome-edited cells. The manufacturing and assessment pipelines presented here will be the basis for clinical-grade genome editing of iPSCs.

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