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Open AccessArticle

TALEN-Mediated Gene Targeting for Cystic Fibrosis-Gene Therapy

by Emily Xia 1,2,†, Yiqian Zhang 1,2,†, Huibi Cao 1, Jun Li 1, Rongqi Duan 1 and Jim Hu 1,2,3,*
1
Translational Medicine Program, Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, 686 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5G 0A4, Canada
2
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, 1 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
3
Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, 1 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Co-first authors.
Genes 2019, 10(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10010039
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cystic Fibrosis: Therapy and Genetics)
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited monogenic disorder, amenable to gene-based therapies. Because CF lung disease is currently the major cause of mortality and morbidity, and the lung airway is readily accessible to gene delivery, the major CF gene therapy effort at present is directed to the lung. Although airway epithelial cells are renewed slowly, permanent gene correction through gene editing or targeting in airway stem cells is needed to perpetuate the therapeutic effect. Transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) has been utilized widely for a variety of gene editing applications. The stringent requirement for nuclease binding target sites allows for gene editing with precision. In this study, we engineered helper-dependent adenoviral (HD-Ad) vectors to deliver a pair of TALENs together with donor DNA targeting the human AAVS1 locus. With homology arms of 4 kb in length, we demonstrated precise insertion of either a LacZ reporter gene or a human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) minigene (cDNA) into the target site. Using the LacZ reporter, we determined the efficiency of gene integration to be about 5%. In the CFTR vector transduced cells, we were able to detect CFTR mRNA expression using qPCR and function correction using fluorometric image plate reader (FLIPR) and iodide efflux assays. Taken together, these findings suggest a new direction for future in vitro and in vivo studies in CF gene editing. View Full-Text
Keywords: cystic fibrosis; gene therapy; site-specific gene targeting; viral vector; TALEN cystic fibrosis; gene therapy; site-specific gene targeting; viral vector; TALEN
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xia, E.; Zhang, Y.; Cao, H.; Li, J.; Duan, R.; Hu, J. TALEN-Mediated Gene Targeting for Cystic Fibrosis-Gene Therapy. Genes 2019, 10, 39.

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