Chew WL, Tabebordbar M, Cheng JK, Mali P, Wu EY, Ng AH, Zhu K, Wagers AJ, Church GM. 2016. A multifunctional AAV-CRISPR-Cas9 and its host response. Nature methods. 13(10):868-74. Pubmed: 27595405 DOI:10.1038/nmeth.3993


CRISPR-Cas9 delivery by adeno-associated virus (AAV) holds promise for gene therapy but faces critical barriers on account of its potential immunogenicity and limited payload capacity. Here, we demonstrate genome engineering in postnatal mice using AAV-split-Cas9, a multifunctional platform customizable for genome editing, transcriptional regulation, and other previously impracticable applications of AAV-CRISPR-Cas9. We identify crucial parameters that impact efficacy and clinical translation of our platform, including viral biodistribution, editing efficiencies in various organs, antigenicity, immunological reactions, and physiological outcomes. These results reveal that AAV-CRISPR-Cas9 evokes host responses with distinct cellular and molecular signatures, but unlike alternative delivery methods, does not induce extensive cellular damage in vivo. Our study provides a foundation for developing effective genome therapeutics.

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Amy Wagers seeks to change the way we repair our tissues after an injury. Her research focuses on defining the factors and mechanisms that regulate the migration, expansion, and regenerative potential of adult blood-forming and muscle-forming stem cells.

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