Nguyen, Nhien Thi Tokushima University
Sawamoto, Osamu Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory
Kikuchi, Takeshi Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory
in vitro fertilization
Xenoantigens cause hyperacute rejection and limit the success of interspecific xenografts. Therefore, genes involved in xenoantigen biosynthesis, such as GGTA1, CMAH, and B4GALNT2, are key targets to improve the outcomes of xenotransplantation. In this study, we introduced a CRISPR/Cas9 system simultaneously targeting GGTA1, CMAH, and B4GALNT2 into in vitro-fertilized zygotes using electroporation for the one-step generation of multiple gene-edited pigs without xenoantigens. First, we optimized the combination of guide RNAs (gRNAs) targeting GGTA1 and CMAH with respect to gene editing efficiency in zygotes, and transferred electroporated embryos with the optimized gRNAs and Cas9 into recipient gilts. Next, we optimized the Cas9 protein concentration with respect to the gene editing efficiency when GGTA1, CMAH, and B4GALNT2 were targeted simultaneously, and generated gene-edited pigs using the optimized conditions. We achieved the one-step generation of GGTA1/CMAH double-edited pigs and GGTA1/CMAH/B4GALNT2 triple-edited pigs. Immunohistological analyses demonstrated the downregulation of xenoantigens; however, these multiple gene-edited pigs were genetic mosaics that failed to knock out some xenoantigens. Although mosaicism should be resolved, the electroporation technique could become a primary method for the one-step generation of multiple gene modifications in pigs aimed at improving pig-to-human xenotransplantation.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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