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Cell stem cell DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2014.04.020

Low Incidence of Off-Target Mutations in Individual CRISPR-Cas9 and TALEN Targeted Human Stem Cell Clones Detected by Whole-Genome Sequencing.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsVeres, A, Gosis, BS, Ding, Q, Collins, R, Ragavendran, A, Brand, H, Erdin, S, Talkowski, ME, Musunuru, K
JournalCell stem cell
Date Published2014/07/03

Genome editing has attracted wide interest for the generation of cellular models of disease using human pluripotent stem cells and other cell types. CRISPR-Cas systems and TALENs can target desired genomic sites with high efficiency in human cells, but recent publications have led to concern about the extent to which these tools may cause off-target mutagenic effects that could potentially confound disease-modeling studies. Using CRISPR-Cas9 and TALEN targeted human pluripotent stem cell clones, we performed whole-genome sequencing at high coverage in order to assess the degree of mutagenesis across the entire genome. In both types of clones, we found that off-target mutations attributable to the nucleases were very rare. From this analysis, we suggest that, although some cell types may be at risk for off-target mutations, the incidence of such effects in human pluripotent stem cells may be sufficiently low and thus not a significant concern for disease modeling and other applications.