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CRISPR/Cas9-induced structural variations expand in T lymphocytes in vivo


Dr. Jaizhi Hu published a paper in Nucleic Acids Research with his collaborator.

CRISPR/Cas9 has been adapted to disrupt endogenous genes in adoptive T-lymphocyte therapy to prevent graft-versus-host disease. However, genome editing also generates prevalent deleterious structural variations (SVs), including chromosomal translocations and large deletions, raising safety concerns about reinfused T cells. Here, we dynamically monitored the progression of SVs in a mouse model of T-cell receptor (TCR)-transgenic T-cell adoptive transfer, mimicking TCR T therapeutics. Remarkably, CRISPR/Cas9-induced SVs persist and undergo clonal expansion in vivo after three weeks or even two months, evidenced by high enrichment and low junctional diversity of identified SVs post infusion. Specifically, we detected 128 expanded translocations, with 20 615 as the highest number of amplicons. The identified SVs are stochastically selected among different individuals and show an inconspicuous locus preference. Similar to SVs, viral DNA integrations are routinely detected in edited T cells and also undergo clonal expansion. The persistent SVs and viral DNA integrations in the infused T cells may constantly threaten genome integrity, drawing immediate attention to the safety of CRISPR/Cas9-engineered T cells mediated immunotherapy.

Original link: https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkac887.