Using high-content screening to generate single-cell gene-corrected patient-derived iPS clones reveals excess alpha-synuclein with familial Parkinson’s disease point mutation A30P.

September 10, 2020 By:
  • Barbuti P
  • Antony P
  • Santos B
  • Massart F
  • Cruciani G
  • Dording C
  • Arias J
  • Schwamborn J
  • Kruger R.

The generation of isogenic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines using CRISPR-Cas9 technology is a technically challenging, time-consuming process with variable efficiency. Here we use fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to sort biallelic CRISPR-Cas9 edited single-cell iPSC clones into high-throughput 96-well microtiter plates. We used high-content screening (HCS) technology and generated an in-house developed algorithm to select the correctly edited isogenic clones for continued expansion and validation. In our model we have gene-corrected the iPSCs of a Parkinson's disease (PD) patient carrying the autosomal dominantly inherited heterozygous c.88G>C mutation in the SNCA gene, which leads to the pathogenic p.A30P form of the alpha-synuclein protein. Undertaking a PCR restriction-digest mediated clonal selection strategy prior to sequencing, we were able to post-sort validate each isogenic clone using a quadruple screening strategy prior to generating footprint-free isogenic iPSC lines, retaining a normal molecular karyotype, pluripotency and three germ-layer differentiation potential. Directed differentiation into midbrain dopaminergic neurons revealed that SNCA expression is reduced in the gene-corrected clones, which was validated by a reduction at the alpha-synuclein protein level. The generation of single-cell isogenic clones facilitates new insights in the role of alpha-synuclein in PD and furthermore is applicable across patient-derived disease models.

2020 Sep. Cells.9(9):pii: cells9092065.
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