Menu

Editing Human Blood Vessel Cells with CRISPR

Researchers use the genome-editing tool to manipulate cultured human endothelial cells.

May 5, 2015
Jenny Rood

WIKIMEDIA, KLINTWORTH GK

Human endothelial cells that make up the lining of blood vessels can be genetically altered using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, according to a study published today (May 4) in Circulation Research.

In addition to animal models, human endothelial cells grown in tissue culture provide a valuable model to understand the biology of blood vessels. Additionally, research using the cells may one day contribute to the development of methods to heal tissues by engineering them in the lab. However, because the cells are already highly specialized, they have been difficult to manipulate genetically to probe the functions of particular genes in biological processes.

In the first reported use of the CRISPR/Cas9 technique in human endothelial cells, researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine infected cultured endothelial cells with a virus containing the instructions for a Cas9 enzyme. The enzyme was designed to eliminate the gene CIITA, which encodes a transcription factor that controls the expression of class II major histocompatibility complex molecules. After treating the cells with virus, the researchers were able to remove both copies of the gene from 40 percent of the cells. As a result, the cells lacking CIITA no longer produced the immune response that activates T cells in response to foreign invaders, but were otherwise able to function normally. For example, the edited cells could still assemble into blood vessels in vitro and incorporate into mouse blood vessels in vivo.

The specialization of CRISPR/Cas9 for endothelial cells offers a “provides a powerful platform for vascular research and for regenerative medicine,” the authors wrote in their paper. “The specific changes we describe might be important for using these cells in therapeutic applications such as organ repair or tissue engineering.”

January 2019

Cannabis on Board

Research suggests ill effects of cannabinoids in the womb

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones).  QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
With this application note from Taconic, learn about the power that the CRISPR/Cas system has to revolutionize the field of custom mouse model generation!
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
This webinar, from Crown Bioscience, presents a unique continuum of translational dysmetabolic platforms that more closely mimic human disease. Learn about using next-generation rodent and spontaneously diabetic non-human primate models to accurately model human-relevant disease progression and complications related to obesity and diabetes here!
BiochemAR: an augmented reality app for easy visualization of virtual 3D molecular models
BiochemAR: an augmented reality app for easy visualization of virtual 3D molecular models
Have you played Pokemon Go? Then you've used Augmented Reality (AR) technology! AR technology holds substantial promise and potential for providing a low-cost, easy to use digital platform for the manipulation of virtual 3D objects, including 3D models of biological macromolecules.