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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Jul 2022 - 8 Jul 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Jun

Mol Genet Metab Rep


Generation of an model for peripheral neuropathy in Fabry disease using CRISPR-Cas9 in the nociceptive dorsal root ganglion cell line 50B11.



Fabry disease is a glycosphingolipid storage disorder that is caused by a genetic deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (AGA, EC As a result, the glycolipid substrate, globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) accumulates in various cell types throughout the body producing a multisystem disease that affects the vascular, cardiac, renal, and nervous systems. A hallmark of this disorder is neuropathic pain that occurs in up to 80% of Fabry patients and has been characterized as a small fiber neuropathy. The molecular mechanism by which changes in AGA activity produce neuropathic pain is not clear, in part due to a lack of relevant model systems. Using 50B11 cells, an immortalized dorsal root ganglion neuron with nociceptive characteristics derived from rat, we used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing of the galactosidase alpha () gene for AGA to create two stable knock-out clones that have the phenotypic characteristics of Fabry cells. The cell lines show severely reduced lysosomal AGA activity in homogenates as well as impaired degradation of Gb3 in cultured cells. This phenotype is stable over long-term culture. Similar to the unedited 50B11 cell line, the clones differentiate in response to forskolin and extend neurites. Flow cytometry experiments demonstrate that the gene-edited cells express TRPV1 pain receptor at increased levels compared to control, suggesting a possible mechanism for increased pain sensitization in Fabry patients. Our 50B11 cell lines show phenotypic characteristics of Fabry disease and grow well under standard cell culture conditions. These cell lines can provide a convenient model system to help elucidate the molecular mechanism of pain in Fabry patients.