A Rapid Pipeline to Model Rare Neurodevelopmental Disorders with Simultaneous CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing

Stem Cells Transl Med. 2017 Mar;6(3):886-896. doi: 10.1002/sctm.16-0158. Epub 2016 Dec 1.


The development of targeted therapeutics for rare neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) faces significant challenges due to the scarcity of subjects and the difficulty of obtaining human neural cells. Here, we illustrate a rapid, simple protocol by which patient derived cells can be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using an episomal vector and differentiated into neurons. Using this platform enables patient somatic cells to be converted to physiologically active neurons in less than two months with minimal labor. This platform includes a method to combine somatic cell reprogramming with CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing at single cell resolution, which enables the concurrent development of clonal knockout or knock-in models that can be used as isogenic control lines. This platform reduces the logistical barrier for using iPSC technology, allows for the development of appropriate control lines for use in rare neurodevelopmental disease research, and establishes a fundamental component to targeted therapeutics and precision medicine. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:886-896.

Keywords: Clinical utility; Dopamine; Gene editing; Glutamate; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Neurodevelopment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9 / metabolism*
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Gene Editing*
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mesencephalon / pathology
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / pathology*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Prosencephalon / pathology


  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9

Grant support