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Consequences of CRISPR-Cas9-Mediated CFTR Knockout in Human Macrophages.

Frontiers in immunology (2020-09-26)
Shuzhong Zhang, Chandra L Shrestha, Benjamin L Wisniewski, Hanh Pham, Xucheng Hou, Wenqing Li, Yizhou Dong, Benjamin T Kopp
ABSTRACT

Macrophage dysfunction is fundamentally related to altered immunity in cystic fibrosis (CF). How genetic deficits in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) lead to these defects remains unknown. Rapid advances in genomic editing such as the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system provide new tools for scientific study. We aimed to create a stable CFTR knockout (KO) in human macrophages in order to study how CFTR regulates macrophage function. Peripheral blood monocytes were isolated from non-CF healthy volunteers and differentiated into monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). MDMs were transfected with a CRISPR Cas9 CFTR KO plasmid. CFTR KO efficiency was verified and macrophage halide efflux, phagocytosis, oxidative burst, apoptosis, and cytokine functional assays were performed. CFTR KO in human MDMs was efficient and stable after puromycin selection. CFTR KO was confirmed by CFTR mRNA and protein expression. CFTR function was abolished in CFTR KO MDMs. CFTR KO recapitulated known defects in human CF MDM (CFTR class I/II variants) dysfunction including (1) increased apoptosis, (2) decreased phagocytosis, (3) reduced oxidative burst, and (4) increased bacterial load. Activation of the oxidative burst via nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase assembly was diminished in CFTR KO MDMs (decreased phosphorylated p47phox). Cytokine production was unchanged or decreased in response to infection in CFTR KO MDMs. In conclusion, we developed a primary human macrophage CFTR KO system. CFTR KO mimics most pathology observed in macrophages obtained from persons with CF, which suggests that many aspects of CF macrophage dysfunction are CFTR-dependent and not just reflective of the CF inflammatory milieu.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Pentostatin, ≥95% (HPLC)
Roche
DOTAP Liposomal Transfection Reagent, >99% (TLC), liquid, suitable for transfection
Sigma-Aldrich
Forskolin, from Coleus forskohlii, ≥98% (HPLC), powder
Sigma-Aldrich
CFTR(inh)-172, ≥98% (HPLC), powder
Sigma-Aldrich
Sodium iodide, 99.999% trace metals basis