Lipids in Health and Disease (2020-10-01)

Hyperhomocysteinemia and dyslipidemia in point mutation G307S of cystathionine β-synthase-deficient rabbit generated using CRISPR/Cas9

  • Ting Zhang,
  • Rui Lu,
  • Yibing Chen,
  • Yuguo Yuan,
  • Shaozheng Song,
  • Kunning Yan,
  • Yiwen Zha,
  • Wenwen Zhuang,
  • Yong Cheng,
  • Jingyan Liang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 1
pp. 1 – 11


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Abstract Background Congenital hyper-homocysteinemia (HHcy) is caused by a defective cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) gene, and is frequently associated with dyslipdemia. The aim of this study was to further elucidate the effect of mutated CBS gene on circulating lipids using a rabbit model harboring a homozygous G307S point mutation in CBS. Methods CRISPR/Cas9 system was used to edit the CBS gene in rabbit embryos. The founder rabbits were sequenced, and their plasma homocysteine (Hcy) and lipid profile were analyzed. Results Six CBS-knockout (CBS-KO) founder lines with biallelic modifications were obtained. Mutation in CBS caused significant growth retardation and high mortality rates within 6 weeks after birth. In addition, the 6-week old CBS-KO rabbits showed higher plasma levels of Hcy, triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) compared to the age-matched wild-type (WT) controls. Histological analysis of the mutants showed accumulation of micro-vesicular cytoplasmic lipid droplets in the hepatocytes. However, gastric infusion of vitamin B and betaine complex significantly decreased the plasma levels of TG, TC and LDL-C in the CBS-KO rabbits, and alleviated hepatic steatosis compared to the untreated animals. Conclusion A CBS G307S rabbit model was generated that exhibited severe dyslipidemia when fed on a normal diet, indicating that G307S mutation in the CBS gene is a causative factor for dyslipidemia.