Genome editing of CCR5 by AsCpf1 renders CD4+T cells resistance to HIV-1 infection

Published on 2020-07-09T05:23:20Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background The chemokine receptor CCR5 is one of the co-receptor of HIV-1 infection. People with homozygous CCR5Δ32 deletion resist HIV-1 infection, which makes the CCR5 an important target for HIV-1 gene therapy. Although the CRISPR/Cas9 has ever been used for HIV-1 study, the newly developed CRISPR/AsCpf1 has never been utilized in HIV-1 co-receptor disruption. The CRISPR/Cpf1 system shows many advantages over CRISPR/Cas9, such as lower off-target, small size of nuclease, easy sgRNA design for multiplex gene editing, etc. Therefore, the CRISPR/Cpf1 mediated gene editing will confer a more specific and safe strategy in HIV-1 co-receptor disruption. Results Here, we demonstrated that CRISPR/AsCpf1 could ablate the main co-receptor of HIV-1 infection-CCR5 efficiently with two screened sgRNAs via different delivery strategies (lentivirus, adenovirus). The edited cells resisted R5-tropic HIV-1 infection but not X4-tropic HIV-1 infection compared with the control group in different cell types of HIV-1 study (TZM.bl, SupT1-R5, Primary CD4+T cells). Meanwhile, the edited cells exhibited selective advantage over unedited cells while under the pressure of R5-tropic HIV-1. Furthermore, we clarified that the predicted off-target sites of selected sgRNAs were very limited, which is much less than regular using sgRNAs for CRISPR/Cas9, and no evident off-target was observed. We also showed that the disruption of CCR5 by CRISPR/AsCpf1 took no effects on cell proliferation and apoptosis. Conclusions Our study provides a basis for a possible application of CCR5-targeting gene editing by CRISPR/AsCpf1 with high specific sgRNAs against HIV-1 infection.

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Liu, Zhepeng; Liang, Jin; Chen, Shuliang; Wang, Kewu; Liu, Xianhao; Liu, Beibei; et al. (2020): Genome editing of CCR5 by AsCpf1 renders CD4+T cells resistance to HIV-1 infection. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5054041.v1