Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a monogenic disease caused by impaired production and/or function of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Although we have previously shown correction of the most common pathogenic mutation, there are many other pathogenic mutations throughout the CF gene. An autologous airway stem cell therapy in which the CFTR cDNA is precisely inserted into the CFTR locus may enable the development of a durable cure for almost all CF patients, irrespective of the causal mutation. Here, we use CRISPR/Cas9 and two adeno-associated viruses (AAV) carrying the two halves of the CFTR cDNA to sequentially insert the full CFTR cDNA along with a truncated CD19 (tCD19) enrichment tag in upper airway basal stem cells (UABCs) and human bronchial basal stem cells (HBECs). The modified cells were enriched to obtain 60-80% tCD19 UABCs and HBECs from 11 different CF donors with a variety of mutations. Differentiated epithelial monolayers cultured at air-liquid interface showed restored CFTR function that was >70% of the CFTR function in non-CF controls. Thus, our study enables the development of a therapy for almost all CF patients, including patients who cannot be treated using recently approved modulator therapies.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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