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CRISPR/Cas9-Based Edition of Frataxin Gene in Dictyostelium discoideum.

Biochemical Journal 2023 September 19
In this paper we describe the development of a Dictyostelium discoideum strain deficient in frataxin protein (FXN). We investigated the conservation of function between humans and D. discoideum and showed that DdFXN can substitute the human version in the interaction and activation of the Fe-S assembly supercomplex. We edited the D. discoideum fxn locus and isolated a defective mutant, clone 8, which presents landmarks of frataxin deficiency, such as a decrease in Fe-S cluster-dependent enzymatic functions, growth rate reduction, and increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. In addition, the multicellular development is affected as well as growing on bacterial lawn.  We also assessed the rescuing capacity of DdFXN-G122V, a version that mimics a human variant present in some FA patients. While the expression of DdFXN-G122V rescues growth and enzymatic activity defects, as DdFXN does, multicellular development defects were only partially rescued. The results of the study suggest that this new D. discoideum strain offers a wide range of possibilities to easily explore diverse FA FXN variants. This can facilitate the development  of straightforward drug screenings to look for new therapeutic strategies.

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