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Human gene editing

Masato Uchiyama, Akiko Nagai, Kaori Muto
Genome editing of human embryos could become a fundamental treatment approach for genetic diseases; however, a few technical and ethical issues need to be resolved before its application in clinical settings. Presently, the Japanese government has issued a statement prohibiting human germline editing and emphasizing the need for discussions that include a wide range of perspectives. However, current discussions tend to exclude the general public. Therefore, we conducted a survey of 10,881 general adults and 1044 patients in Japan who indicated that their disease conditions are related to their genetic makeup, and clarified their attitude toward this technology...
March 15, 2018: Journal of Human Genetics
Alina Fedoseienko, Melinde Wijers, Justina C Wolters, Daphne Dekker, Marieke Smit, Nicolette Huijkman, Niels Kloosterhuis, Helene Klug, Aloys Schepers, Ko Willems van Dijk, Johannes H Levels, Daniel D Billadeau, Marten H Hofker, Jan van Deursen, Marit Westerterp, Ezra Burstein, Jan Albert Kuivenhoven, Bart van de Sluis
<u>Rationale:</u> <u>CO</u> pper<u>M</u>etabolism<u>M</u>URR1 Domain-containing (COMMD) proteins are a part of the COMMD-CCDC22-CCDC93 (CCC) complexes facilitating endosomal trafficking of cell surface receptors. Hepatic COMMD1 inactivation decreases CCDC22 and CCDC93 protein levels, impairs the recycling of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), and increases plasma LDL cholesterol levels in mice. However, whether any of the other COMMD members function similarly as COMMD1, and whether perturbation in the CCC complex promotes atherogenesis remain unclear...
March 15, 2018: Circulation Research
Ximena Corso-Díaz, Catherine Jaeger, Vijender Chaitankar, Anand Swaroop
Complex biological processes, such as organogenesis and homeostasis, are stringently regulated by genetic programs that are fine-tuned by epigenetic factors to establish cell fates and/or to respond to the microenvironment. Gene regulatory networks that guide cell differentiation and function are modulated and stabilized by modifications to DNA, RNA and proteins. In this review, we focus on two key epigenetic changes - DNA methylation and histone modifications - and discuss their contribution to retinal development, aging and disease, especially in the context of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy...
March 12, 2018: Progress in Retinal and Eye Research
Tafadzwa Mlambo, Sandra Nitsch, Markus Hildenbeutel, Marianna Romito, Maximilian Müller, Claudia Bossen, Sven Diederichs, Tatjana I Cornu, Toni Cathomen, Claudio Mussolino
Targeted modulation of gene expression represents a valuable approach to understand the mechanisms governing gene regulation. In a therapeutic context, it can be exploited to selectively modify the aberrant expression of a disease-causing gene or to provide the target cells with a new function. Here, we have established a novel platform for achieving precision epigenome editing using designer epigenome modifiers (DEMs). DEMs combine in a single molecule a DNA binding domain based on highly specific transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) and several effector domains capable of inducing DNA methylation and locally altering the chromatin structure to silence target gene expression...
March 10, 2018: Nucleic Acids Research
Adele S Ricciardi, Elias Quijano, Rachael Putman, W Mark Saltzman, Peter M Glazer
Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) can bind duplex DNA in a sequence-targeted manner, forming a triplex structure capable of inducing DNA repair and producing specific genome modifications. Since the first description of PNA-mediated gene editing in cell free extracts, PNAs have been used to successfully correct human disease-causing mutations in cell culture and in vivo in preclinical mouse models. Gene correction via PNAs has resulted in clinically-relevant functional protein restoration and disease improvement, with low off-target genome effects, indicating a strong therapeutic potential for PNAs in the treatment or cure of genetic disorders...
March 11, 2018: Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry
Zhi-Jie Wu, Xin Zhao, Lauren G Banaszak, Fernanda Gutierrez-Rodrigues, Keyvan Keyvanfar, Shou-Guo Gao, Diego Quinones Raffo, Sachiko Kajigaya, Neal S Young
Additional sex combs-like 1 (ASXL1) is a well‑known tumor suppressor gene and epigenetic modifier. ASXL1 mutations are frequent in myeloid malignances; these mutations are risk factors for the development of myelodysplasia and also appear as small clones during normal aging. ASXL1 appears to act as an epigenetic regulator of cell survival and myeloid differentiation; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the malignant transformation of cells with ASXL1 mutations are not well defined. Using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein-9 nuclease (Cas9) genome editing, heterozygous and homozygous ASXL1 mutations were introduced into human U937 leukemic cells...
April 2018: International Journal of Oncology
Christoph Rehmann-Sutter
Do we have a moral obligation to genetically cure embryos rather than selecting between them? Such an obligation would be an ethical argument for human germline gene editing (hGGE) to avoid the inheritance of genetic conditions instead of using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). In this article, the intuition that we do have such a moral obligation is critically evaluated. The article first develops a theoretical framework for discussing the ethical questions of hGGE. This framework is based on an exploration of the phenomenology of the germline, from both biological and philosophical points of view...
April 2018: New Bioethics: a Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body
Jessica Cussins, Leah Lowthorp
'Mitochondrial replacement' and 'germline gene editing' are relatively new techniques that represent a significant moral, technological, and legal threshold, as they would introduce permanent and heritable changes to the human gene pool. This article examines the close relationship between these two technologies over time, considering what regulatory lessons can be learned from the former as attention turns to the latter. It argues that the UK's 'mitochondrial replacement' approval process should not be taken as a model for the wider regulation of germline gene editing, and that policy-making needs to contend with a comprehensive picture of the social and political meaning of these technologies in the world...
April 2018: New Bioethics: a Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body
James Davison
Novel technological developments mean that gene editing - making deliberately targeted alterations in specific genes - is now a clinical reality. The inherited metabolic disorders, a group of clinically significant, monogenic disorders, provide a useful paradigm to explore some of the many ethical issues that arise from this technological capability. Fundamental questions about the significance of the genome, and of manipulating it by selection or editing, are reviewed, and a particular focus on the legislative process that has permitted the development of mitochondrial donation techniques is considered...
April 2018: New Bioethics: a Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body
Tatsuo Miyamoto, Silvia Natsuko Akutsu, Hiroshi Tauchi, Yoshiki Kudo, Satoshi Tashiro, Takashi Yamamoto, Shinya Matsuura
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induced by ionizing radiation (IR) are the initial and critical step in major alteration of genetic information and cell death. To prevent deleterious effects, DNA repair systems recognize and re-join DNA DSBs in human cells. It has been suggested that there are individual differences in radiosensitivity within human populations, and that variations in DNA repair genes might contribute to this heterogeneity. Because confounding factors, including age, gender, smoking, and diverse genetic backgrounds within human populations, also influence the cellular radiosensitivity, to accurately measure the effect of candidate genetic variations on radiosensitivity, it is necessary to use human cultured cells with a uniform genetic background...
March 8, 2018: Journal of Radiation Research
Oscar Franzén, Raili Ermel, Katyayani Sukhavasi, Rajeev Jain, Anamika Jain, Christer Betsholtz, Chiara Giannarelli, Jason C Kovacic, Arno Ruusalepp, Josefin Skogsberg, Ke Hao, Eric E Schadt, Johan L M Björkegren
RNA editing modifies transcripts and may alter their regulation or function. In humans, the most common modification is adenosine to inosine (A-to-I). We examined the global characteristics of RNA editing in 4,301 human tissue samples. More than 1.6 million A-to-I edits were identified in 62% of all protein-coding transcripts. mRNA recoding was extremely rare; only 11 novel recoding sites were uncovered. Thirty single nucleotide polymorphisms from genome-wide association studies were associated with RNA editing; one that influences type 2 diabetes (rs2028299) was associated with editing in ARPIN ...
2018: PeerJ
Norman Junge, Qinggong Yuan, Thu Huong Vu, Simon Krooss, Christien Bednarski, Asha Balakrishnan, Toni Cathomen, Michael P Manns, Ulrich Baumann, Amar Deep Sharma, Michael Ott
AIM: To stably correct tyrosinaemia in proliferating livers of fumarylacetoacetate-hydrolase knockout ( Fah -/-) mice by homologous-recombination-mediated targeted addition of the Fah gene. METHODS: C57BL/6 Fah∆exon5 mice served as an animal model for human tyrosinaemia type 1 in our study. The vector was created by amplifying human Fah cDNA including the TTR promoter from a lentivirus plasmid as described. The Fah expression cassette was flanked by homologous arms (620 bp and 749 bp long) of the Rosa26 gene locus...
February 27, 2018: World Journal of Hepatology
Yi-Guang Chen, Clayton E Mathews, John P Driver
For more than 35 years, the NOD mouse has been the primary animal model for studying autoimmune diabetes. During this time, striking similarities to the human disease have been uncovered. In both species, unusual polymorphisms in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecule confer the most disease risk, disease is caused by perturbations by the same genes or different genes in the same biological pathways and that diabetes onset is preceded by the presence of circulating autoreactive T cells and autoantibodies that recognize many of the same islet antigens...
2018: Frontiers in Endocrinology
Zhao Dong, Haozhe Shi, Mingming Zhao, Xin Zhang, Wei Huang, Yuhui Wang, Lemin Zheng, Xunde Xian, George Liu
OBJECTIVE: Lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) plays a pivotal role in HDL metabolism but its influence on atherosclerosis remains controversial for decades both in animal and clinical studies. Because lack of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) is a major difference between murine and humans in lipoprotein metabolism, we aimed to create a novel Syrian Golden hamster model deficient in LCAT activity, which expresses endogenous CETP, to explore its metabolic features and particularly the influence of LCAT on the development of atherosclerosis...
March 8, 2018: Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Ke Chen, Yuxuan Wang, Jie Sun
The Alu-element plays important roles in mediating alternative splicing, RNA editing and translation regulation. However, the distribution and function of the Alu-element are never analysed at the transcriptome level. This study presents a statistical analysis of the Alu-element on human transcriptome. We found that mRNAs and lncRNAs share the same sequence form for the Alu-element. The Alu-element covers 5.8% of the coding transcripts and 17.1% of the coding genes for mRNAs, and covers 9.3% of the transcripts and 13...
March 7, 2018: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Dan Gao, Fu-Sen Liang
The ability to edit specific epigenetic modifications at defined gene loci is pivotal to understand the biological function of these epigenetic marks. Here we describe a new inducible method to integrate the dCas9-based genome targeting with abscisic acid (ABA)-based chemically induced proximity (CIP) technologies to modify histone tail modifications at specific genome loci in living cells. ABA leads to rapid hetero-dimerization of the PYL and ABI proteins, which can be individually fused to dCas9 and a histone-modifying enzyme core domain...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Tafadzwa Mlambo, Marianna Romito, Tatjana I Cornu, Claudio Mussolino
The development of tools which allow for the precise alterations of the epigenetic landscape in desired genomic locations presents exciting possibilities toward further understanding how gene expression is regulated and opportunities to harness these properties for therapeutic purposes. In contrast to gene knockout strategies, targeted epigenome modifications, such as editing of DNA methylation, can mediate gene expression modulation without changing the genomic sequence. Thereby, in a therapeutic context, this strategy may offer a safer route as compared to gene disruption using designer nucleases that, to reach high efficiencies, relies on the occurrence of random mutations to inactivate the target gene...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Chun-Yen Lin, Kai-Wei Chang, Chia-Yi Lin, Jia-Ying Wu, Hilary Coon, Pei-Hsin Huang, Hong-Nerng Ho, Schahram Akbarian, Susan Shur-Fen Gau, Hsien-Sung Huang
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder, and the exact causal mechanism is unknown. Dysregulated allele-specific expression (ASE) has been identified in persons with ASD; however, a comprehensive analysis of ASE has not been conducted in a family quartet with ASD. To fill this gap, we analyzed ASE using genomic DNA from parent and offspring and RNA from offspring's postmortem prefrontal cortex (PFC); one of the two offspring had been diagnosed with ASD. DNA- and RNA-sequencing revealed distinct ASE patterns from the PFC of both offspring...
March 9, 2018: Scientific Reports
Karen P Maruska, Russell D Fernald
Most biomedical research is performed using a very limited number of "model" species. In part, this has resulted from a combination of full genomes, manipulation of genes, and short generation times in these species. However, the advent of low cost sequencing and gene editing in any organism has increased the use of non-traditional organisms. Many scientists have paraphrased the adage by Krogh that for many biological problems some species will prove to be most convenient and useful to study (1). In particular, using organisms most suited to the specific research question can lead to novel insights about fundamental physiological, neurobiological, immunological and neuroendocrine systems that can advance our understanding of the well-being and health of humans...
March 9, 2018: ACS Chemical Neuroscience
Edit Páyer, Judit Szabó-Papp, Lídia Ambrus, Attila Gábor Szöllősi, Mónika Andrási, Shabtay Dikstein, Lajos Kemény, István Juhász, Andrea Szegedi, Tamás Bíró, Attila Oláh
Polyols (e.g. glycerol, xylitol) are implicated as moisturizers of the skin and other epithelial tissues. However, we lack information about their exact cellular mechanisms and their effects on the gene expression profiles. Therefore, in this study, we aimed at investigating the effects of glycerol and xylitol on human epidermal keratinocytes. The polyols (identical osmolarities; xylitol: 0.0045%-0.45%; glycerol: 0.0027%-0.27%) did not alter cellular viability or intracellular calcium concentration. However, they exerted differential effects on the expression of certain genes and signalling pathways...
March 2018: Experimental Dermatology
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