A functional genetic toolbox for human tissue-derived organoids

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Human organoid systems recapitulate key features of organs offering platforms for modelling developmental biology and disease. Tissue-derived organoids have been widely used to study the impact of extrinsic niche factors on stem cells. However, they are rarely used to study endogenous gene function due to the lack of efficient gene manipulation tools. Previously, we established a human foetal lung organoid system (Nikolić et al., 2017). Here, using this organoid system as an example we have systematically developed and optimised a complete genetic toolbox for use in tissue-derived organoids. This includes “Organoid Easytag”, our efficient workflow for targeting all types of gene loci through CRISPR-mediated homologous recombination followed by flow cytometry for enriching correctly-targeted cells. Our toolbox also incorporates conditional gene knock-down or overexpression using tightly-inducible CRISPR interference and CRISPR activation which is the first efficient application of these techniques to tissue-derived organoids. These tools will facilitate gene perturbation studies in tissue-derived organoids facilitating human disease modelling and providing a functional counterpart to many on-going descriptive studies, such as the Human Cell Atlas Project.

CRISPR-Cas9, CRISPRa, developmental biology, homologous gene targeting, human, inducible CRISPRi, lung, organoids, CRISPR-Cas Systems, Gene Knockdown Techniques, Gene Targeting, Humans, Lung, Organoids
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eLife Sciences Publications Ltd
Medical Research Council (MR/P009581/1)
MRC (MR/T001917/1)
Wellcome Trust (109146/Z/15/Z)
Cancer Research UK (C6946/A24843)
Wellcome Trust (203144/Z/16/Z)
Wellcome Trust (102175/B/13/Z)