CRISPR gene editing holds great promise to modify DNA sequences in somatic cells to treat disease. However, standard computational and biochemical methods to predict off-target potential focus on reference genomes. We developed an efficient tool called CRISPRme that considers single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and indel genetic variants to nominate and prioritize off-target sites. We tested the software with a BCL11A enhancer targeting guide RNA (gRNA) showing promise in clinical trials for sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia and found that the top candidate off-target is produced by an allele common in African-ancestry populations (MAF 4.5%) that introduces a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence. We validated that SpCas9 generates strictly allele-specific indels and pericentric inversions in CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), although high-fidelity Cas9 mitigates this off-target. This report illustrates how genetic variants should be considered as modifiers of gene editing outcomes. We expect that variant-aware off-target assessment will become integral to therapeutic genome editing evaluation and provide a powerful approach for comprehensive off-target nomination.

Human genetic diversity alters off-target outcomes of therapeutic gene editing

Cancellieri, Samuele;Tognon, Manuel;Bombieri, Nicola;Giugno, Rosalba
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

CRISPR gene editing holds great promise to modify DNA sequences in somatic cells to treat disease. However, standard computational and biochemical methods to predict off-target potential focus on reference genomes. We developed an efficient tool called CRISPRme that considers single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and indel genetic variants to nominate and prioritize off-target sites. We tested the software with a BCL11A enhancer targeting guide RNA (gRNA) showing promise in clinical trials for sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia and found that the top candidate off-target is produced by an allele common in African-ancestry populations (MAF 4.5%) that introduces a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence. We validated that SpCas9 generates strictly allele-specific indels and pericentric inversions in CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), although high-fidelity Cas9 mitigates this off-target. This report illustrates how genetic variants should be considered as modifiers of gene editing outcomes. We expect that variant-aware off-target assessment will become integral to therapeutic genome editing evaluation and provide a powerful approach for comprehensive off-target nomination.
2023
CRISPR gene editing, algorithms, patient genome analysis
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1080767
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 3
  • Scopus 17
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 18
social impact