One-Step In Vitro Generation of ETV2-Null Pig Embryos
Marta Moya-Jódar 1 , Giulia Coppiello 1 , Juan Roberto Rodríguez-Madoz 1 , Gloria Abizanda 1 , Paula Barlabé 1 , Amaia Vilas-Zornoza 2 , Asier Ullate-Agote 1 2 , Chiara Luongo 3 4 , Ernesto Rodríguez-Tobón 3 4 , Sergio Navarro-Serna 3 4 , Evelyne París-Oller 3 4 , Maria Oficialdegui 5 , Xonia Carvajal-Vergara 1 , Laura Ordovás 6 7 , Felipe Prósper 1 8 9 10 , Francisco Alberto García-Vázquez 3 4 , Xabier L Aranguren 1
Each year, tens of thousands of people worldwide die of end-stage organ failure due to the limited availability of organs for use in transplantation. To meet this clinical demand, one of the last frontiers of regenerative medicine is the generation of humanized organs in pigs from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) via blastocyst complementation.
For this, organ-disabled pig models are needed. As endothelial cells (ECs) play a critical role in xenotransplantation rejection in every organ, we aimed to produce hematoendothelial-disabled pig embryos targeting the master transcription factor ETV2 via CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome modification.
In this study, we designed five different guide RNAs (gRNAs) against the DNA-binding domain of the porcine ETV2 gene, which were tested on porcine fibroblasts in vitro. Four out of five guides showed cleavage capacity and, subsequently, these four guides were microinjected individually as ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) into one-cell-stage porcine embryos. Next, we combined the two gRNAs that showed the highest targeting efficiency and microinjected them at higher concentrations. Under these conditions, we significantly improved the rate of biallelic mutation.
Hence, here, we describe an efficient one-step method for the generation of hematoendothelial-disabled pig embryos via CRISPR-Cas9 microinjection in zygotes. This model could be used in experimentation related to the in vivo generation of humanized organs.