Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology holds vast promises for a cure to the hemoglobinopathies. Constructs and methods to safely insert therapeutic genes to correct the genetic defect need to be developed. Site-specific insertion is a very attractive method for gene therapy because the risks of insertional mutagenesis are eliminated provided that a "safe harbor" is identified, and because a single set of validated constructs can be used to correct a large variety of mutations simplifying eventual clinical use. We report here the correction of α-thalassemia major hydrops fetalis in transgene-free iPS cells using zinc finger-mediated insertion of a globin transgene in the AAVS1 site on human chromosome 19. Homozygous insertion of the best of the 4 constructs tested led to complete correction of globin chain imbalance in erythroid cells differentiated from the corrected iPS cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology