October 23, 2019  |  

Efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated editing of trinucleotide repeat expansion in myotonic dystrophy patient-derived iPS and myogenic cells.

CRISPR/Cas9 is an attractive platform to potentially correct dominant genetic diseases by gene editing with unprecedented precision. In the current proof-of-principle study, we explored the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene-editing in myotonic dystrophy type-1 (DM1), an autosomal-dominant muscle disorder, by excising the CTG-repeat expansion in the 3′-untranslated-region (UTR) of the human myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) gene in DM1 patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (DM1-iPSC), DM1-iPSC-derived myogenic cells and DM1 patient-specific myoblasts. To eliminate the pathogenic gain-of-function mutant DMPK transcript, we designed a dual guide RNA based strategy that excises the CTG-repeat expansion with high efficiency, as confirmed by Southern blot and single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing. Correction efficiencies up to 90% could be attained in DM1-iPSC as confirmed at the clonal level, following ribonucleoprotein (RNP) transfection of CRISPR/Cas9 components without the need for selective enrichment. Expanded CTG repeat excision resulted in the disappearance of ribonuclear foci, a quintessential cellular phenotype of DM1, in the corrected DM1-iPSC, DM1-iPSC-derived myogenic cells and DM1 myoblasts. Consequently, the normal intracellular localization of the muscleblind-like splicing regulator 1 (MBNL1) was restored, resulting in the normalization of splicing pattern of SERCA1. This study validates the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing of repeat expansions.

September 22, 2019  |  

Mutant JAK3 signaling is increased by loss of wild-type JAK3 or by acquisition of secondary JAK3 mutations in T-ALL.

The Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) tyrosine kinase is mutated in 10% to 16% of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cases. JAK3 mutants induce constitutive JAK/STAT signaling and cause leukemia when expressed in the bone marrow cells of mice. Surprisingly, we observed that one third of JAK3-mutant T-ALL cases harbor 2 JAK3 mutations, some of which are monoallelic and others that are biallelic. Our data suggest that wild-type JAK3 competes with mutant JAK3 (M511I) for binding to the common ? chain and thereby suppresses its oncogenic potential. We demonstrate that JAK3 (M511I) can increase its limited oncogenic potential through the acquisition of an additional mutation in the mutant JAK3 allele. These double JAK3 mutants show increased STAT5 activation and increased potential to transform primary mouse pro-T cells to interleukin-7-independent growth and were not affected by wild-type JAK3 expression. These data extend our insight into the oncogenic properties of JAK3 mutations and provide an explanation of why progression of JAK3-mutant T-ALL cases can be associated with the accumulation of additional JAK3 mutations.© 2018 by The American Society of Hematology.

September 22, 2019  |  

Conventional and single-molecule targeted sequencing method for specific variant detection in IKBKG while bypassing the IKBKGP1 pseudogene.

In addition to Sanger sequencing, next-generation sequencing of gene panels and exomes has emerged as a standard diagnostic tool in many laboratories. However, these captures can miss regions, have poor efficiency, or capture pseudogenes, which hamper proper diagnoses. One such example is the primary immunodeficiency-associated gene IKBKG. Its pseudogene IKBKGP1 makes traditional capture methods aspecific. We therefore developed a long-range PCR method to efficiently target IKBKG, as well as two associated genes (IRAK4 and MYD88), while bypassing the IKBKGP1 pseudogene. Sequencing accuracy was evaluated using both conventional short-read technology and a newer long-read, single-molecule sequencer. Different mapping and variant calling options were evaluated in their capability to bypass the pseudogene using both sequencing platforms. Based on these evaluations, we determined a robust diagnostic application for unambiguous sequencing and variant calling in IKBKG, IRAK4, and MYD88. This method allows rapid identification of selected primary immunodeficiency diseases in patients suffering from life-threatening invasive pyogenic bacterial infections. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

July 19, 2019  |  

Mapping the landscape of tandem repeat variability by targeted long read single molecule sequencing in familial X-linked intellectual disability.

The etiology of more than half of all patients with X-linked intellectual disability remains elusive, despite array-based comparative genomic hybridization, whole exome or genome sequencing. Since short read massive parallel sequencing approaches do not allow the detection of larger tandem repeat expansions, we hypothesized that such expansions could be a hidden cause of X-linked intellectual disability.We selectively captured over 1800 tandem repeats on the X chromosome and characterized them by long read single molecule sequencing in 3 families with idiopathic X-linked intellectual disability. In male DNA samples, full tandem repeat length sequences were obtained for 88-93% of the targets and up to 99.6% of the repeats with a moderate guanine-cytosine content. Read length and analysis pipeline allow to detect cases of >?900?bp tandem repeat expansion. In one family, one repeat expansion co-occurs with down-regulation of the neighboring MIR222 gene. This gene has previously been implicated in intellectual disability and is apparently linked to FMR1 and NEFH overexpression associated with neurological disorders.This study demonstrates the power of single molecule sequencing to measure tandem repeat lengths and detect expansions, and suggests that tandem repeat mutations may be a hidden cause of X-linked intellectual disability.

July 7, 2019  |  

Multiplex enhancer-reporter assays uncover unsophisticated TP53 enhancer logic.

Transcription factors regulate their target genes by binding to regulatory regions in the genome. Although the binding preferences of TP53 are known, it remains unclear what distinguishes functional enhancers from nonfunctional binding. In addition, the genome is scattered with recognition sequences that remain unoccupied. Using two complementary techniques of multiplex enhancer-reporter assays, we discovered that functional enhancers could be discriminated from nonfunctional binding events by the occurrence of a single TP53 canonical motif. By combining machine learning with a meta-analysis of TP53 ChIP-seq data sets, we identified a core set of more than 1000 responsive enhancers in the human genome. This TP53 cistrome is invariably used between cell types and experimental conditions, whereas differences among experiments can be attributed to indirect nonfunctional binding events. Our data suggest that TP53 enhancers represent a class of unsophisticated cell-autonomous enhancers containing a single TP53 binding site, distinct from complex developmental enhancers that integrate signals from multiple transcription factors. © 2016 Verfaillie et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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