Generation and validation of PAX7 reporter lines from human iPS cells using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

Stem cell research

PubMedID: 26826926

Wu J, Hunt SD, Xue H, Liu Y, Darabi R. Generation and validation of PAX7 reporter lines from human iPS cells using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Stem Cell Res. 2016;16(2):220-228.
Directed differentiation of iPS cells toward various tissue progenitors has been the focus of recent research. Therefore, generation of tissue-specific reporter iPS cell lines provides better understanding of developmental stages in iPS cells. This technical report describes an efficient strategy for generation and validation of knock-in reporter lines in human iPS cells using the Cas9-nickase system. Here, we have generated a knock-in human iPS cell line for the early myogenic lineage specification gene of PAX7. By introduction of site-specific double-stranded breaks (DSB) in the genomic locus of PAX7 using CRISPR/Cas9 nickase pairs, a 2A-GFP reporter with selection markers has been incorporated before the stop codon of the PAX7 gene at the last exon. After positive and negative selection, single cell-derived human iPS clones have been isolated and sequenced for in-frame positioning of the reporter construct. Finally, by using a nuclease-dead Cas9 activator (dCas9-VP160) system, the promoter region of PAX7 has been targeted for transient gene induction to validate the GFP reporter activity. This was confirmed by flow cytometry analysis and immunostaining for PAX7 and GFP. This technical report provides a practical guideline for generation and validation of knock-in reporters using CRISPR/Cas9 system.