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Characterization of post-edited cells modified in the TFAM gene by CRISPR/Cas9 technology in the bovine model

Abstract : Gene editing in large animal models for future applications in translational medicine and food production must be deeply investigated for an increase of knowledge. The mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) is a member of the HMGB subfamily that binds to mtDNA promoters. This gene maintains mtDNA, and it is essential for the initiation of mtDNA transcription. Lately, we generated a new cell line through the disruption of the TFAM gene in bovine fibroblast cells by CRISPR/Cas 9 technology. We showed that the CRISPR/Cas9 design was efficient through the generation of heterozygous mutant clones. In this context, once this gene regulates the mtDNA replication specificity, the study aimed to determine if the post-edited cells are capable of in vitro maintenance and assess if they present changes in mtDNA copies and mitochondrial membrane potential after successive passages in culture. The post-edited cells were expanded in culture, and we performed a growth curve, doubling time, cell viability, mitochondrial DNA copy number, and mitochondrial membrane potential assays. The editing process did not make cell culture unfeasible, even though cell growth rate and viability were decreased compared to control since we observed the cells grow well when cultured in a medium supplemented with uridine and pyruvate. They also exhibited a classical fibroblastoid appearance. The RT-qPCR to determine the mtDNA copy number showed a decrease in the edited clones compared to the non-edited ones (control) in different cell passages. Cell staining with Mitotracker Green and red suggests a reduction in red fluorescence in the edited cells compared to the non-edited cells. Thus, through characterization, we demonstrated that the TFAM gene is critical to mitochondrial maintenance due to its interference in the stability of the mitochondrial DNA copy number in different cell passages and membrane potential confirming the decrease in mitochondrial activity in cells edited in heterozygosis.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-02914689
Contributor : Myriam Bodescot <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 12:21:39 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 9:12:02 AM
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Vanessa Cristina de Oliveira, Clésio Gomes Mariano Junior, José Ernesto Belizário, José Eduardo Krieger, Fabiana Fernandes Bressan, et al.. Characterization of post-edited cells modified in the TFAM gene by CRISPR/Cas9 technology in the bovine model. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (7), pp.e0235856. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0235856⟩. ⟨inserm-02914689⟩

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