Drug target validation in primary human natural killer cells using CRISPR RNP

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to genetically modify CD8 T cells using viral gene delivery has facilitated the development of next generation of cancer immunotherapies such as chimeric Ag receptor (CAR) T cells engineered to specifically kill tumor cells. Development of immunotherapies targeting NK cells have stalled in part by their resistance to traditional viral gene delivery systems. Here, an efficient approach is described to genetically edit human NK cells by electroporation and CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. Electroporation pulse codes and buffer optimization for protein uptake by human NK cells and viability, and the efficiency of this approach over other methods are detailed. To highlight the transformative step this technique will have for NK cell immunotherapy drug discovery, NCR1 and CISH are deleted in primary human NK cells and murine findings are validated on their key roles in regulating NK cell antitumor function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1408
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • drug target validation
  • human immunology
  • immunotherapy
  • natural killer cell

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