• Authors: Ou T. et al.
  • Year: 2022
  • Journal: Mol Ther 30 184-197
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / FectoPRO
  • Cell type: Expi293F
    Description: Human embryonic kidney Fibroblast
    Known as: Expi 293-F, Expi, HEK-293 Expi


All proteins were produced in transiently transfected Expi293F cells. Protein constructs were co-transfected with plasmids encoding furin, FGE (formylglycine generating enzyme), and PDI (protein disulfide isomerase), respectively (at 4:1:1:1 ratio) using FectoPRO (Polyplus) according to the manufacturer’s protocol. Supernatants were harvested 5 days after transfection, filtered, and purified with CH01 or PGT145 affinity column.


B cells have been engineered ex vivo to express an HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibody (bNAb). B cell reprograming may be scientifically and therapeutically useful, but current approaches limit B cell repertoire diversity and disrupt the organization of the heavy-chain locus. A more diverse and physiologic B cell repertoire targeting a key HIV-1 epitope could facilitate evaluation of vaccines designed to elicit bNAbs, help identify more potent and bioavailable bNAb variants, or directly enhance viral control in vivo. Here we address the challenges of generating such a repertoire by replacing the heavy-chain CDR3 (HCDR3) regions of primary human B cells. To do so, we identified and utilized an uncharacterized Cas12a ortholog that recognizes PAM motifs present in human JH genes. We also optimized the design of 200 nucleotide homology-directed repair templates (HDRT) by minimizing the required 3'-5' deletion of the HDRT-complementary strand. Using these techniques, we edited primary human B cells to express a hemagglutinin epitope tag and the HCDR3 regions of the bNAbs PG9 and PG16. Those edited with bNAb HCDR3 efficiently bound trimeric HIV-1 antigens, implying they could affinity mature in vivo in response to the same antigens. This approach generates diverse B cell repertoires recognizing a key HIV-1 neutralizing epitope.