Genetic Engineering of Primary Mouse Intestinal Organoids Using Magnetic Nanoparticle Transduction Viral Vectors for Frozen Sectioning

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Intestinal organoid cultures provide a unique opportunity to investigate intestinal stem cell and crypt biology in vitro, although efficient approaches to manipulate gene expression in organoids have made limited progress in this arena. While CRISPR/Cas9 technology allows for precise genome editing of cells for organoid generation, this strategy requires extensive selection and screening by sequence analysis, which is both time-consuming and costly. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for efficient viral transduction of intestinal organoids. This approach is rapid and highly efficient, thus decreasing the time and expense inherent in CRISPR/Cas9 technology. We also present a protocol to generate frozen sections from intact organoid cultures for further analysis with immunohistochemical or immunofluorescent staining, which can be used to confirm gene expression or silencing. After successful transduction of viral vectors for gene expression or silencing is achieved, intestinal stem cell and crypt function can be rapidly assessed. Although most organoid studies employ in vitro assays, organoids can also be delivered to mice for in vivo functional analyses. Moreover, our approaches are advantageous for predicting therapeutic responses to drugs because currently available therapies generally function by modulating gene expression or protein function rather than altering the genome.