Using CRISPR, US Firm Near to Creating Hypoallergenic CatsApril 6, 2022
Indoor Biotechnologies, a US-based company that manufactures biologics for allergy and asthma, has used CRISPR gene editing technology to delete the protein in cat cells that causes allergy, in the first step towards creating hypoallergenic cats.
Cat allergy affects more than 10 percent of the population, with more than 90 percent of cat allergic patients having the IgE antibodies to the major cat allergen, Fel d 1. Cats secrete Fel d 1 in their saliva and transfer it to their fur when they clean themselves.
Fel d 1 has two different subunits, and two genes, CH1 and CH2, encode for each subunit. When the Indoor Biotechnologies team compared the sequences of the CH1 and CH2 genes in domestic cats with those in other cat species such as lions, tigers, cougars, and fishing cats, they found many changes. The changes in the sequence of genes with key functions suggest that Fel d 1 is not essential. The only way to find out is to see what happens to cats without any Fel d 1.
Using CRISPR, the team at Indoor Biotechnologies, led by Senior Scientist Nicole Brackett, deleted either the CH1 or the CH2 gene from cat cells growing in culture using CRISPR. Their next step will be to delete all copies of the two genes at once, to confirm that this prevents cells from making the Fel d 1 protein. Only then would the team try to create cats that lack the genes.
For more details, read the article in the NewScientist, or download the poster presentation from Indoor Biotechnologies. The paper detailing the results of this study is available in the CRISPR Journal.
You might also like:
- Pocket K No. 54: Plant Breeding Innovation: CRISPR-Cas9
- Studies on Transgenic Domestic Cat Help Understand AIDS
- Simple Genetic Mechanism Could Drive Species Separation
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
Gene Editing Supplement (April 6, 2022)
Research and Tools
- Effective CRISPR-Cas9 Method for Citrus Plants Developed
- CRISPR-Kill Prevents Formation of Specific Organs During Plant Development
- Gene Editing Offers Hope to Endangered African Banana Industry
- Using CRISPR, US Firm Near to Creating Hypoallergenic Cats
- Experts Broaden Target Range of CRISPR-Cas Systems
Policy Considerations and Approvals
- India Exempts Genome-Edited Plants from Biosafety Assessment
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (May 31, 2023)
- Gene Editing Supplement (May 31, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: