Base editing correction of OCRL in Lowe syndrome: ABE-mediated functional rescue in patient-derived fibroblasts

Hum Mol Genet. 2024 Jun 21;33(13):1142-1151. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddae045.


Lowe syndrome, a rare X-linked multisystem disorder presenting with major abnormalities in the eyes, kidneys, and central nervous system, is caused by mutations in OCRL gene (NG_008638.1). Encoding an inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase, OCRL catalyzes the hydrolysis of PI(4,5)P2 into PI4P. There are no effective targeted treatments for Lowe syndrome. Here, we demonstrate a novel gene therapy for Lowe syndrome in patient fibroblasts using an adenine base editor (ABE) that can efficiently correct pathogenic point mutations. We show that ABE8e-NG-based correction of a disease-causing mutation in a Lowe patient-derived fibroblast line containing R844X mutation in OCRL gene, restores OCRL expression at mRNA and protein levels. It also restores cellular abnormalities that are hallmarks of OCRL dysfunction, including defects in ciliogenesis, microtubule anchoring, α-actinin distribution, and F-actin network. The study indicates that ABE-mediated gene therapy is a feasible treatment for Lowe syndrome, laying the foundation for therapeutic application of ABE in the currently incurable disease.

Keywords: cell biology; ciliogenesis; gene editing; gene therapy; lowe syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts* / metabolism
  • Gene Editing* / methods
  • Genetic Therapy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Oculocerebrorenal Syndrome* / genetics
  • Oculocerebrorenal Syndrome* / metabolism
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases* / genetics
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases* / metabolism


  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • OCRL protein, human
  • Adenine