Efficient genome editing of differentiated renal epithelial cells

Pflugers Arch. 2017 Feb;469(2):303-311. doi: 10.1007/s00424-016-1924-4. Epub 2016 Dec 16.


Recent advances in genome editing technologies have enabled the rapid and precise manipulation of genomes, including the targeted introduction, alteration, and removal of genomic sequences. However, respective methods have been described mainly in non-differentiated or haploid cell types. Genome editing of well-differentiated renal epithelial cells has been hampered by a range of technological issues, including optimal design, efficient expression of multiple genome editing constructs, attainable mutation rates, and best screening strategies. Here, we present an easily implementable workflow for the rapid generation of targeted heterozygous and homozygous genomic sequence alterations in renal cells using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) system. We demonstrate the versatility of established protocols by generating novel cellular models for studying autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Furthermore, we show that cell culture-validated genetic modifications can be readily applied to mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) for the generation of corresponding mouse models. The described procedure for efficient genome editing can be applied to any cell type to study physiological and pathophysiological functions in the context of precisely engineered genotypes.


Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Editing / methods
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Polycystic Kidney Diseases / genetics
  • Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases / genetics


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases