Chromosome Transplantation: A Possible Approach to Treat Human X-linked Disorders

Marianna Paulis, Lucia Susani, Alessandra Castelli, Teruhiko Suzuki, Takahiko Hara, Letizia Straniero, Stefano Duga, Dario Strina, Stefano Mantero, Elena Caldana, Lucia Sergi Sergi, Anna Villa, Paolo Vezzoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many human genetic diseases are associated with gross mutations such as aneuploidies, deletions, duplications, or inversions. For these “structural” disorders, conventional gene therapy, based on viral vectors and/or on programmable nuclease-mediated homologous recombination, is still unsatisfactory. To correct such disorders, chromosome transplantation (CT), defined as the perfect substitution of an endogenous defective chromosome with an exogenous normal one, could be applied. CT re-establishes a normal diploid cell, leaving no marker of the procedure, as we have recently shown in mouse pluripotent stem cells. To prove the feasibility of the CT approach in human cells, we used human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) reprogrammed from Lesch-Nyhan (LN) disease patients, taking advantage of their mutation in the X-linked HPRT gene, making the LN cells selectable and distinguishable from the resistant corrected normal cells. In this study, we demonstrate, for the first time, that CT is feasible in hiPSCs: the normal exogenous X chromosome was first transferred using an improved chromosome transfer system, and the extra sex chromosome was spontaneously lost. These CT cells were functionally corrected and maintained their pluripotency and differentiation capability. By inactivation of the autologous HPRT gene, CT paves the way to the correction of hiPSCs from several X-linked disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-377
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy - Methods and Clinical Development
Publication statusPublished - Jun 12 2020


  • chromosome transfer
  • chromosome transplantation
  • genetic therapy
  • genomic disorders
  • induced pluripotent stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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