Genome editing in human cells with targeted nucleases now enables diverse experimental and therapeutic genome engineering applications, but extension to primary human B cells remains limited. Here we report a method for targeted genetic engineering in primary human B cells, utilizing electroporation of CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) to introduce gene knockout mutations at protein-coding loci with high efficiencies that in some cases exceeded 80%. Further, we demonstrate knock-in editing of targeted nucleotides with efficiency exceeding 10% through co-delivery of oligonucleotide templates for homology directed repair. We delivered Cas9 RNPs in two distinct in vitro culture systems to achieve editing in both undifferentiated B cells and activated B cells undergoing differentiation, reflecting utility in diverse experimental conditions. In summary, we demonstrate a powerful and scalable research tool for functional genetic studies of human B cell biology that may have further applications in engineered B cell therapeutics.
Keywords: CRISPR-Cas9; Cas9 ribonucleoprotein; Genome engineering; Primary human B cells.
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