Enhanced S-cone syndrome (ESCS) is caused by recessive mutations in the photoreceptor cell transcription factor NR2E3. Loss of NR2E3 is characterized by repression of rod photoreceptor cell gene expression, over-expansion of the S-cone photoreceptor cell population, and varying degrees of M- and L-cone photoreceptor cell development. In this study, we developed a CRISPR-based homology-directed repair strategy and corrected two different disease-causing NR2E3 mutations in patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from two affected individuals. In addition, one patient's iPSCs were differentiated into retinal cells and NR2E3 transcription was evaluated in CRISPR corrected and uncorrected clones. The patient's c.119-2A>C mutation caused the inclusion of a portion of intron 1, the creation of a frame shift, and generation of a premature stop codon. In summary, we used a single set of CRISPR reagents to correct different mutations in iPSCs generated from two individuals with ESCS. In doing so we demonstrate the advantage of using retinal cells derived from affected patients over artificial in vitro model systems when attempting to demonstrate pathophysiologic mechanisms of specific mutations.
Keywords: Enhanced S-Cone Syndrome (ESCS); NR2E3; clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR); homology-directed repair (HDR); induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC).