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Blood. 2019 Jun 27;133(26):2745-2752. doi: 10.1182/blood.2019000790. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated in vivo gene targeting corrects hemostasis in newborn and adult factor IX-knockout mice.

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Gene Therapy Program, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center/Collaborative Innovation Center for Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China; and.
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Many genetic diseases, including hemophilia, require long-term therapeutic effects. Despite the initial success of liver-directed adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy for hemophilia in clinical trials, long-term sustained therapeutic effects have yet to be seen. One explanation for the gradual decline of efficacy over time is that the nonintegrating AAV vector genome could be lost during cell division during hepatocyte turnover, albeit at a slow pace in adults. Readministering the same vector is challenging as a result of the AAV-neutralizing antibodies elicited by the initial treatment. Here, we investigated the use of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9-mediated homology-directed gene targeting for sustained treatment of hemophilia B. We developed a donor vector containing a promoterless partial human factor IX (FIX) complementary DNA carrying the hyperactive FIX Padua mutation. A single injection of dual AAV vectors in newborn and adult FIX-knockout (FIX-KO) mice led to stable expression of FIX at or above the normal levels for 8 months. Eight weeks after the vector treatment, we subjected a subgroup of newborn and adult treated FIX-KO mice to a two-thirds partial hepatectomy; all of these animals survived the procedure without any complications or interventions. FIX levels persisted at similar levels for 24 weeks after partial hepatectomy, indicating stable genomic targeting. Our results lend support for the use of a CRISPR/Cas9 approach to achieve lifelong expression of therapeutic proteins.


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