Abstract #31

# 31
S. Lee*1, M. H. Jung2, H. J. Oh1, O.-J. Koo2, B. C. Lee1, 1Department of Theriogenology and Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea;, 2Toolgen Inc, Seoul, Korea.

Pigs are useful models for studying human diseases because of the similarity of their anatomy and physiology. Recent advances in genome editing techniques such as zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat-associated Cas9 system (CRISPR/Cas9) have made it possible to produce animals for specific purposes. Especially, recent application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system improved the efficiency of genome editing in pigs with higher targeting efficiency or percentage of desired mutation compared to other meganucleases (ZFNs and TALENs). The klotho deficiency in small animals such as mice is characterised by an extremely shortened life span with multiple aging-like phenotypes similar to human premature-aging syndromes. However, limited information is available on the function of klotho in large animals such as pigs. The objective of this study was to determine whether the use of non-selected porcine fibroblasts electroporated with Cas9/sgRNA ribonucleoproteins, targeting the klotho gene, for somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) results in high mutation rates in embryos. A CRISPR sgRNA specific for the klotho gene was designed and sgRNA (targeting exon 3 of klotho) and type 2 Cas9 RNPs (total 36 μg, 1:4 ratio, respectively) were transfected into porcine fibroblasts via Neon (Life Technologies) with a single DC pulse of 1400 V for 30 ms. Then, transfected fibroblasts were cultured for 1 day and used randomly for SCNT without selection. SCNT was performed by enucleation of in vitro-matured porcine oocyte, followed by injection of non-selected donor cells, fusion with a single DC pulse of 200 V/mm for 30 μs using an electro cell fusion generator (LF101; Nepa Gene Co.), and electrical activation with a single DC pulse of 150 V/mm for 60 μs using a BTX Electro-Cell Manipulator 2001 (BTX Inc.). The SCNT embryos were cultured in PZM5 culture medium to Day 7 and analysed for the presence of modifications to the klotho gene. Blastocysts were classified as modified if they contained an INDEL as measured by both T7E1 assay and deep sequencing of PCR amplicons spanning the targeted exon. The klotho modification rate was 65% (n = 13), of which 38.5% (n = 5) of the embryos contained biallelic modifications. In conclusion, SCNT with non-selected donor cells transfected with Cas9/sgRNA RNPs might be an efficient and simple tool to produce klotho deficient pigs as models for human diseases. Further studies are required to generate klotho deficient pigs by performing embryo transfer to the recipients.