Granular corneal dystrophy (GCD) is an autosomal dominant hereditary disease in which multiple discrete and irregularly shaped granular opacities are deposited in the corneal stroma. GCD is caused by a point mutation in the transforming growth factor-β-induced (TGFBI) gene, located on chromosome 5q31. Here, we report the first successful application of CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing for the correction of a TGFBI mutation in GCD patient-derived primary corneal keratocytes via homology-directed repair (HDR). To correct genetic defects in GCD patient cells, we designed a disease-specific guide RNA (gRNA) targeting the R124H mutation of TGFBI, which causes GCD type 2 (GCD2). An R124H mutation in primary human corneal keratocytes derived from a GCD2 patient was corrected by delivering a CRISPR plasmid expressing Cas9/gRNA and a single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide HDR donor template in vitro. The gene correction efficiency was 20.6% in heterozygous cells and 41.3% in homozygous cells. No off-target effects were detected. These results reveal a new therapeutic strategy for GCD2; this method may also be applicable to other heredity corneal diseases.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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