Dentoalveolar Defects of Hypophosphatasia are Recapitulated in a Sheep Knock?In Model

Abstract

Hypophosphatasia (HPP) is the inherited error-of-metabolism caused by mutations in ALPL, reducing the function of tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP/TNALP/TNSALP). HPP is characterized by defective skeletal and dental mineralization and is categorized into several clinical subtypes based on age of onset and severity of manifestations, though premature tooth loss from acellular cementum defects is common across most HPP subtypes. Genotype-phenotype associations and mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal, dental, and other defects remain poorly characterized. Murine models that have provided significant insights into HPP pathophysiology also carry limitations including monophyodont dentition, lack of osteonal remodeling of cortical bone, and differing patterns of skeletal growth. To address this, we generated the first gene edited large animal model of HPP in sheep via CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in of a missense mutation (c.1077C>G; p.I359M) associated with skeletal and dental manifestations in humans. We hypothesized that this HPP sheep model would recapitulate the human dentoalveolar manifestations of HPP. Compared to wild-type (WT), compound heterozygous (cHet) sheep with one null allele and the other with the targeted mutant allele exhibited the most severe alveolar bone, acellular cementum, and dentin hypomineralization defects. Sheep homozygous for the mutant allele (Hom) showed alveolar bone and hypomineralization effects and trends in dentin and cementum, while sheep heterozygous (Het) for the mutation did not exhibit significant effects. Important insights gained include existence of early alveolar bone defects that may contribute to tooth loss in HPP, observation of severe mantle dentin hypomineralization in an HPP animal model, association of cementum hypoplasia with genotype, and correlation of dentoalveolar defects with ALP levels. The sheep model of HPP faithfully recapitulated dentoalveolar defects reported in individuals with HPP, providing a new translational model for studies into etiopathology and novel therapies of this disorder, as well as proof-of-principle that genetically engineered large sheep models can replicate human dentoalveolar disorders.