High-efficiency transgene integration by homology-directed repair in human primary cells using DNA-PKcs inhibition.
Therapeutic applications of nuclease-based genome editing would benefit from improved methods for transgene integration via homology-directed repair (HDR). To improve HDR efficiency, we screened six small-molecule inhibitors of DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), a key protein in the alternative repair pathway of non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), which generates genomic insertions/deletions (INDELs). From this screen, we identified AZD7648 as the most potent compound. The use of AZD7648 significantly increased HDR (up to 50-fold) and concomitantly decreased INDELs across different genomic loci in various therapeutically relevant primary human cell types. In all cases, the ratio of HDR to INDELs markedly increased, and, in certain situations, INDEL-free high-frequency (>50%) targeted integration was achieved. This approach has the potential to improve the therapeutic efficacy of cell-based therapies and broaden the use of targeted integration as a research tool.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41587-023-01888-4
View details for PubMedID 37537500
View details for PubMedCentralID 3694601
Aberrant activation of TCL1A promotes stem cell expansion in clonal haematopoiesis.
Mutations in a diverse set of driver genes increase the fitness of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), leading to clonal haematopoiesis1. These lesions are precursors for blood cancers2-6, but the basis of their fitness advantage remains largely unknown, partly owing to a paucity of large cohorts in which the clonal expansion rate has been assessed by longitudinal sampling. Here, to circumvent this limitation, we developed a method to infer the expansion rate from data from a single time point. We applied this method to 5,071 people with clonal haematopoiesis. A genome-wide association study revealed that a common inherited polymorphism in the TCL1A promoter was associated with a slower expansion rate in clonal haematopoiesis overall, but the effect varied by driver gene. Those carrying this protective allele exhibited markedly reduced growth rates or prevalence of clones with driver mutations in TET2, ASXL1, SF3B1 and SRSF2, but this effect was not seen in clones with driver mutations in DNMT3A. TCL1A was not expressed in normal or DNMT3A-mutated HSCs, but the introduction of mutations in TET2 or ASXL1 led to the expression of TCL1A protein and the expansion of HSCs in vitro. The protective allele restricted TCL1A expression and expansion of mutant HSCs, as did experimental knockdown of TCL1A expression. Forced expression of TCL1A promoted the expansion of human HSCs in vitro and mouse HSCs in vivo. Our results indicate that the fitness advantage of several commonly mutated driver genes in clonal haematopoiesis may be mediated by TCL1A activation.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-023-05806-1
View details for PubMedID 37046083
View details for PubMedCentralID 4624443