Schoger Eric et al.
CRISPR/Cas9 technology based on nuclease inactive dCas9 and fused to the heterotrimeric VPR transcriptional activator is a powerful tool to enhance endogenous transcription by targeting defined genomic loci. We generated homozygous human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines carrying dCas9 fused to VPR along with a WPRE element at the AAVS1 locus (CRISPRa2). We demonstrated pluripotency, genomic integrity and differentiation potential into all three germ layers. CRISPRa2 cells showed increased transgene expression and higher transcriptional induction in hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes compared to a previously described CRISPRa line. Both lines allow studying endogenous transcriptional modulation with lower and higher transcript abundance.