Cre-dependent Cas9-expressing pigs enable efficient in vivo genome editing

Kepin Wang, Qin Jin, Degong Ruan, Yi Yang, Qishuai Liu, Han Wu, Zhiwei Zhou, Zhen Ouyang, Zhaoming Liu, Yu Zhao, Bentian Zhao, Quanjun Zhang, Jiangyun Peng, Chengdan Lai, Nana Fan, Yanhui Liang, Ting Lan, Nan Li, Xiaoshan Wang, Xinlu Wang, Yong Fan, Pieter A Doevendans, Joost P G Sluijter, Pentao Liu, Xiaoping Li, Liangxue Lai

Published: 01/12/2017


Despite being time-consuming and costly, generating genome-edited pigs holds great promise for agricultural, biomedical, and pharmaceutical applications. To further facilitate genome editing in pigs, we report here establishment of a pig line with Cre-inducible Cas9 expression that allows a variety of ex vivo genome editing in fibroblast cells including single- and multigene modifications, chromosome rearrangements, and efficient in vivo genetic modifications. As a proof of principle, we were able to simultaneously inactivate five tumor suppressor genes (TP53PTENAPCBRCA1, and BRCA2) and activate one oncogene (KRAS), achieved by delivering Cre recombinase and sgRNAs, which caused rapid lung tumor development. The efficient genome editing shown here demonstrates that these pigs can serve as a powerful tool for dissecting in vivo gene functions and biological processes in a temporal manner and for streamlining the production of genome-edited pigs for disease modeling.

Full Access Link: Genome Research