Correction of sickle cell disease by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells

Academic Article


  • Previous studies have demonstrated that sickle cell disease (SCD) can be corrected in mouse models by transduction of hematopoietic stem cells with lentiviral vectors containing antisickling globin genes followed by transplantation of these cells into syngeneic recipients. Although self-inactivating (SIN) lentiviral vectors with or without insulator elements should provide a safe and effective treatment in humans, some concerns about insertional mutagenesis persist. An ideal correction would involve replacement of the sickle globin gene (βS) with a normal copy of the gene (βA).We recently derived embryonic stem (ES) cells from a novel knock-in mouse model of SCD and tested a protocol for correcting the sickle mutation by homologous recombination. In this paper, we demonstrate the replacement of the human βS-globin gene with a human βA-globin gene and the derivation of mice from these cells. The animals produce high levels of normal human hemoglobin (HbA) and the pathology associated with SCD is corrected. Hematologic values are restored to normal levels and organ pathology is ameliorated. These experiments provide a foundation for similar studies in human ES cells derived from sickle cell patients. Although efficient methods for production of human ES cells by somatic nuclear transfer must be developed, the data in this paper demonstrate that sickle cell disease can be corrected without the risk of insertional mutagenesis. © 2006 by The American Society of Hematology.
  • Published In

  • Blood  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wu LC; Sun CW; Ryan TM; Pawlik KM; Ren J; Townes TM
  • Start Page

  • 1183
  • End Page

  • 1188
  • Volume

  • 108
  • Issue

  • 4