Our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) has been advanced by the ability to genetically manipulate mice; however, germline modification is time consuming and expensive. Here, we describe fast, efficient, and cost-effective methods to directly modify the genomes of mouse and human HSPCs using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Using plasmid and virus-free delivery of guide RNAs alone into Cas9-expressing HSPCs or Cas9-guide RNA ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes into wild-type cells, we have achieved extremely efficient gene disruption in primary HSPCs from mouse (>60%) and human (∼75%). These techniques enabled rapid evaluation of the functional effects of gene loss of Eed, Suz12, and DNMT3A. We also achieved homology-directed repair in primary human HSPCs (>20%). These methods will significantly expand applications for CRISPR/Cas9 technologies for studying normal and malignant hematopoiesis.
Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9; HSC; gene therapy; genome editing; hematopoietic stem cells; homology-directed repair; human CD34; progenitor; sgRNA; transplantation.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.