Human iPSC Modeling Reveals Mutation-Specific Responses to Gene Therapy in a Genotypically Diverse Dominant Maculopathy.

Bikash Pattnaik // Gamm Lab // Publications // Aug 06 2020

PubMed ID: 32707085

Author(s): Sinha D, Steyer B, Shahi PK, Mueller KP, Valiauga R, Edwards KL, Bacig C, Steltzer SS, Srinivasan S, Abdeen A, Cory E, Periyasamy V, Siahpirani AF, Stone EM, Tucker BA, Roy S, Pattnaik BR, Saha K, Gamm DM. Human iPSC modeling reveals mutation-specific responses to gene therapy in a genotypically diverse dominant maculopathy. Am J Hum Genet. 2020 Aug 6;107(2):278-292. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.06.011. Epub 2020 Jul 23. PMID 32707085

Journal: American Journal Of Human Genetics, Volume 107, Issue 2, Aug 2020

Dominantly inherited disorders are not typically considered to be therapeutic candidates for gene augmentation. Here, we utilized induced pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium (iPSC-RPE) to test the potential of gene augmentation to treat Best disease, a dominant macular dystrophy caused by over 200 missense mutations in BEST1. Gene augmentation in iPSC-RPE fully restored BEST1 calcium-activated chloride channel activity and improved rhodopsin degradation in an iPSC-RPE model of recessive bestrophinopathy as well as in two models of dominant Best disease caused by different mutations in regions encoding ion-binding domains. A third dominant Best disease iPSC-RPE model did not respond to gene augmentation, but showed normalization of BEST1 channel activity following CRISPR-Cas9 editing of the mutant allele. We then subjected all three dominant Best disease iPSC-RPE models to gene editing, which produced premature stop codons specifically within the mutant BEST1 alleles. Single-cell profiling demonstrated no adverse perturbation of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) transcriptional programs in any model, although off-target analysis detected a silent genomic alteration in one model. These results suggest that gene augmentation is a viable first-line approach for some individuals with dominant Best disease and that non-responders are candidates for alternate approaches such as gene editing. However, testing gene editing strategies for on-target efficiency and off-target events using personalized iPSC-RPE model systems is warranted. In summary, personalized iPSC-RPE models can be used to select among a growing list of gene therapy options to maximize safety and efficacy while minimizing time and cost. Similar scenarios likely exist for other genotypically diverse channelopathies, expanding the therapeutic landscape for affected individuals.

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