Nguyen, Nhien Thi Tokushima University
Sawamoto, Osamu Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory
Kikuchi, Takeshi Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory
Doi, Masako Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory
In vitro fertilization
Background: Xenoantigens are a major source of concern with regard to the success of interspecific xenografts. GGTA1 encodes α1,3-galactosyltransferase, which is essential for the biosynthesis of galactosyl-alpha 1,3-galactose, the major xenoantigen causing hyperacute rejection. GGTA1-modified pigs, therefore, are promising donors for pig-to-human xenotransplantation. In this study, we developed a method for the introduction of the CRISPR/Cas9 system into in vitro-fertilized porcine zygotes via electroporation to generate GGTA1-modified pigs.
Results: We designed five guide RNAs (gRNAs) targeting distinct sites in GGTA1. After the introduction of the Cas9 protein with each gRNA via electroporation, the gene editing efficiency in blastocysts developed from zygotes was evaluated. The gRNA with the highest gene editing efficiency was used to generate GGTA1-edited pigs. Six piglets were delivered from two recipient gilts after the transfer of electroporated zygotes with the Cas9/gRNA complex. Deep sequencing analysis revealed that five out of six piglets carried a biallelic mutation in the targeted region of GGTA1, with no off-target events. Furthermore, staining with isolectin B4 confirmed deficient GGTA1 function in GGTA1 biallelic mutant piglets.
Conclusions: We established GGTA1-modified pigs with high efficiency by introducing a CRISPR/Cas9 system into zygotes via electroporation. Multiple gene modifications, including knock-ins of human genes, in porcine zygotes via electroporation may further improve the application of the technique in pig-to-human xenotransplantation.
BioMed Central|Springer Nature
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