CNS-restricted Transduction and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Gene Deletion with an Engineered AAV Vector.
Gene therapy using recombinant adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors is emerging as a promising approach to treat central nervous system disorders such as Spinal muscular atrophy, Batten, Parkinson and Alzheimer disease amongst others. A critical remaining challenge for central nervous system-targeted gene therapy, silencing or gene editing is to limit potential vector dose-related toxicity in off-target cells and organs. Here, we characterize a lab-derived AAV chimeric (AAV2g9), which displays favorable central nervous system attributes derived from both parental counterparts, AAV2 and AAV9. This synthetic AAV strain displays preferential, robust, and widespread neuronal transduction within the brain and decreased glial tropism. Importantly, we observed minimal systemic leakage, decreased sequestration and gene transfer in off-target organs with AAV2g9, when administered into the cerebrospinal fluid. A single intracranial injection of AAV2g9 vectors encoding guide RNAs targeting the schizophrenia risk gene MIR137 (encoding MIR137) in CRISPR/Cas9 knockin mice resulted in brain-specific gene deletion with no detectable events in the liver. This engineered AAV vector is a promising platform for treating neurological disorders through gene therapy, silencing or editing modalities.
Murlidharan, G; Sakamoto, K; Rao, L; Corriher, T; Wang, D; Gao, G; Sullivan, P; Asokan, A
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