The efficiency of targeted knock-in for cell therapeutic applications is generally low, and the scale is limited. In this study, we developed CLASH, a system that enables high-efficiency, high-throughput knock-in engineering. In CLASH, Cas12a/Cpf1 mRNA combined with pooled adeno-associated viruses mediate simultaneous gene editing and precise transgene knock-in using massively parallel homology-directed repair, thereby producing a pool of stably integrated mutant variants each with targeted gene editing. We applied this technology in primary human T cells and performed time-coursed CLASH experiments in blood cancer and solid tumor models using CD3, CD8 and CD4 T cells, enabling pooled generation and unbiased selection of favorable CAR-T variants. Emerging from CLASH experiments, a unique CRISPR RNA (crRNA) generates an exon3 skip mutant of PRDM1 in CAR-Ts, which leads to increased proliferation, stem-like properties, central memory and longevity in these cells, resulting in higher efficacy in vivo across multiple cancer models, including a solid tumor model. The versatility of CLASH makes it broadly applicable to diverse cellular and therapeutic engineering applications.
© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.