Genome editing using Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 in a canine model of glycogen storage disease Ia

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2023 Mar 9:29:108-119. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2023.03.001. eCollection 2023 Jun 8.


Glycogen storage disease type Ia (GSD Ia) is the inherited deficiency of glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), associated with life-threatening hypoglycemia and long-term complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma formation. Gene replacement therapy fails to stably reverse G6Pase deficiency. We attempted genome editing using two adeno-associated virus vectors, one that expressed Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 protein and a second containing a donor transgene encoding G6Pase, in a dog model for GSD Ia. We demonstrated donor transgene integration in the liver of three adult-treated dogs accompanied by stable G6Pase expression and correction of hypoglycemia during fasting. Two puppies with GSD Ia were treated by genome editing that achieved donor transgene integration in the liver. Integration frequency ranged from 0.5% to 1% for all dogs. In adult-treated dogs, anti-SaCas9 antibodies were detected before genome editing, reflecting prior exposure to S. aureus. Nuclease activity was low, as reflected by a low percentage of indel formation at the predicted site of SaCas9 cutting that indicated double-stranded breaks followed by non-homologous end-joining. Thus, genome editing can integrate a therapeutic transgene in the liver of a large animal model, either early or later in life, and further development is warranted to provide a more stable treatment for GSD Ia.

Keywords: CRISPR-Cas9; adeno-associated virus vectors; genome editing; glucose-6-phosphatase; glycogen storage disease; inherited disorder of metabolism; von Gierke disease.