Biotech Updates

Scientists Review the Use of Engineered Viruses in Genome Editing Tools

October 12, 2016

Genome editing based on sequence-specific designer nucleases modify genetic information of living cells in a targeted manner. Delivering these designer nucleases, individually or together with donor DNA templates, can result in gene knock-outs or knock-ins.

Viral vectors, which are engineered replication-defective viruses, recently gained an important role as delivery vehicles for donor DNA templates and designer nucleases, such as zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats-associated Cas9 (CRISPR−Cas9).

Researchers from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands reviewed the use of engineered viral particles on genome editing and also focused on their main scaffolds. They discussed the repurposing of viral vectors as delivery systems for genome editing tools as well as information on their characteristics, and the advantages and disadvantages of this new approach.

For more information, read the article in Molecular Therapy.