Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

CRISPR-based gene editing enables FOXP3 gene repair in IPEX patient cells

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Science Advances  06 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 19, eaaz0571
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0571


The prototypical genetic autoimmune disease is immune dysregulation polyendocrinopathy enteropathy X-linked (IPEX) syndrome, a severe pediatric disease with limited treatment options. IPEX syndrome is caused by mutations in the forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3) gene, which plays a critical role in immune regulation. As a monogenic disease, IPEX is an ideal candidate for a therapeutic approach in which autologous hematopoietic stem and progenitor (HSPC) cells or T cells are gene edited ex vivo and reinfused. Here, we describe a CRISPR-based gene correction permitting regulated expression of FOXP3 protein. We demonstrate that gene editing preserves HSPC differentiation potential, and that edited regulatory and effector T cells maintain their in vitro phenotype and function. Additionally, we show that this strategy is suitable for IPEX patient cells with diverse mutations. These results demonstrate the feasibility of gene correction, which will be instrumental for the development of therapeutic approaches for other genetic autoimmune diseases.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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