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Characterization of three loci for homologous gene targeting and transgene expression

Authors

  • Justin Eyquem,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cellectis Therapeutics, 8 rue de la Croix Jarry, 75013 Paris, France; telephone: 33-1-81-69-16-18; fax: 33-1-41-83-99-03
    • Cellectis Therapeutics, 8 rue de la Croix Jarry, 75013 Paris, France; telephone: 33-1-81-69-16-18; fax: 33-1-41-83-99-03
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  • Laurent Poirot,

    1. Cellectis Therapeutics, 8 rue de la Croix Jarry, 75013 Paris, France; telephone: 33-1-81-69-16-18; fax: 33-1-41-83-99-03
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  • Roman Galetto,

    1. Cellectis Therapeutics, 8 rue de la Croix Jarry, 75013 Paris, France; telephone: 33-1-81-69-16-18; fax: 33-1-41-83-99-03
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  • Andrew M. Scharenberg,

    1. Cellectis Therapeutics, 8 rue de la Croix Jarry, 75013 Paris, France; telephone: 33-1-81-69-16-18; fax: 33-1-41-83-99-03
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  • Julianne Smith

    Corresponding author
    1. Cellectis Therapeutics, 8 rue de la Croix Jarry, 75013 Paris, France; telephone: 33-1-81-69-16-18; fax: 33-1-41-83-99-03
    • Cellectis Therapeutics, 8 rue de la Croix Jarry, 75013 Paris, France; telephone: 33-1-81-69-16-18; fax: 33-1-41-83-99-03
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  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

Abstract

Integrative gene transfer is widely used for bioproduction, drug screening, and therapeutic applications but usual viral methods lead to random and multicopy insertions, contribute to unstable transgene expression and can disturb endogenous gene expression. Homologous targeting of an expression cassette using rare-cutting endonucleases is a potential solution; however the number of studied loci remains limited. Furthermore, the behavior and performance of various types of gene cassettes following gene targeting is poorly defined. Here we have evaluated three loci for gene targeting, including one locus compatible with the proposed Safe Harbor criteria for human translational applications. Using optimized conditions for homologous gene targeting, reporter genes under the control of different promoters were efficiently inserted at each locus in both sense and antisense orientations. Sustainable expression was achieved at all three loci without detectable disturbance of flanking gene expression. However, the promoter, the integration locus and the cassette orientation have a strong impact on transgene expression. Finally, single targeted integrations exhibited greatly improved transgene expression stability versus multicopy or random integration. Taken together, our data suggest a potential set of loci for site-specific transgene integration, suitable for a variety of biotechnological applications. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2013; 110: 2225–2235. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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