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The Gurdon Institute

 
Photomicroscopy shows genetically manipulated organoids

The Rawlins lab and collaborators have used their human foetal lung organoid system to systematically develop and optimise a complete genetic toolbox for use in tissue-derived organoids. These tools will facilitate gene perturbation studies in tissue-derived organoids, facilitating human disease modelling and providing a functional counterpart to many on-going descriptive studies, such as the Human Cell Atlas Project.

 

A functional genetic toolbox for human tissue-derived organoids

Sun D et al. (2021) eLife 10:e67886. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.67886

 

Abstract from the paper

Human organoid systems recapitulate key features of organs offering platforms for modelling developmental biology and disease. Tissue-derived organoids have been widely used to study the impact of extrinsic niche factors on stem cells. However, they are rarely used to study endogenous gene function due to the lack of efficient gene manipulation tools. Previously, we established a human foetal lung organoid system (Nikolić et al., 2017).

Here, using this organoid system as an example we have systematically developed and optimised a complete genetic toolbox for use in tissue-derived organoids. This includes 'Organoid Easytag' our efficient workflow for targeting all types of gene loci through CRISPR-mediated homologous recombination followed by flow cytometry for enriching correctly-targeted cells. Our toolbox also incorporates conditional gene knock-down or overexpression using tightly-inducible CRISPR interference and CRISPR activation which is the first efficient application of these techniques to tissue-derived organoids.

These tools will facilitate gene perturbation studies in tissue-derived organoids facilitating human disease modelling and providing a functional counterpart to many on-going descriptive studies, such as the Human Cell Atlas Project.

 

 

Read more about research in the Rawlins lab.

Watch Emma Rawlins describe her research on YouTube.