CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Gene Editing of ARG1 in Cell Lines and Primary Cells
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Arginase 1 deficiency, a urea cycle disorder resulting from an inability of the body to convert arginine into urea, results in hyperargininemia and sporadic episodes of hyperammonemia. Arginase 1 deficiency can lead to a range of developmental disorders and progressive spastic diplegia in children, and current therapeutic options are limited. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) /CRISPR associated protein (Cas) 9 gene editing systems serve as a novel means of treating genetic disorders such as Arginase 1 (ARG1) deficiency, and must be thoroughly examined to determine their curative capabilities. In these experiments numerous guide RNAs and CRISPR/Cas9 systems targeting the ARG1 gene were designed and observed by heteroduplex assay for their targeting capabilities and cleavage efficiencies in multiple cell lines. The CRISPR/Cas9 system utilized in these experiments, along with a panel of guide RNAs targeting various locations in the arginase 1 gene, successfully produced targeted cleavage in HEK293, MCF7, A549, K562, HeLa, and HepG2 cells; however, targeted cleavage in human dermal fibroblasts, blood outgrowth endothelial cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells was not observed. Additionally, a CRISPR/Cas system involving partially inactivated Cas9 was capable of producing targeted DNA cleavage in intron 1 of ARG1, while a Cas protein termed Cpf1 was incapable of producing targeted cleavage. These results indicate a complex set of variables determining the CRISPR/Cas9 systems’ capabilities in the cell lines and primary cells tested. By examining epigenetic factors and alternative CRISPR/Cas9 gene targeting systems, the CRISPR/Cas9 system can be more thoroughly considered in its ability to act as a means towards editing the genome of arginase 1-deficient individuals.