Keun-Tae Kima,1, Ju-Chan Parkb,1, Hyeon-Ki Jangc,g,1, Haeseung Leed, Seokwoo Parke, Jumee Kimb, Ok-Seon Kwonb, Young-Hyun Gob, Yan Jinf, Wankyu Kimd, Jeongmi Leef, Sangsu Baec,g, Hyuk-Jin Chab,*
aDepartment of Life Sciences, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea
bCollege of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
cResearch Institute for Convergence of Basic Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea
dEwha Research Center for Systems Biology, Division of Molecular & Life Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
eDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
fSchool of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
gDepartment of Chemistry, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea
1These authors contributed equally.
An efficient gene-editing technique for use in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) has great potential value in regenerative medicine, as well as in drug discovery based on isogenic human disease models. However, the extremely low efficiency of gene editing in hPSCs remains as a major technical hurdle. Previously, we demonstrated that YM155, a survivin inhibitor developed as an anti-cancer drug, induces highly selective cell death in undifferentiated hPSCs. In this study, we demonstrated that the high cytotoxicity of YM155 in hPSCs, which is mediated by selective cellular uptake of the drug, is due to the high expression of SLC35F2 in these cells. Knockout of SLC35F2 with CRISPR-Cas9, or depletion with siRNAs, made the hPSCs highly resistant to YM155. Simultaneous editing of a gene of interest and transient knockdown of SLC35F2 following YM155 treatment enabled the survival of genome-edited hPSCs as a result of temporary YM155 resistance, thereby achieving an enriched selection of clonal populations with gene knockout or knock-in. This precise and efficient genome editing approach took as little as 3 weeks and required no cell sorting or the introduction of additional genes, to be a more feasible approach for gene editing in hPSCs due to its simplicity.
Keywords : Gene editing; CRISPR-Cas9; SLC35F2; YM155; Human pluripotent stem cells; Disease modeling