New Way to Edit Genes

Researchers develop a more-efficient method for rewriting DNA that could hold therapeutic value for HIV and other diseases.

By | October 1, 2015

Researchers propose a gene-editing technique that may offer a more-effective way to disrupt and replace CCR5 in human T cells.SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, C. BICKELTypical gene-editing protocols involve using nucleases to induce double-stranded DNA breaks, then allowing the cell’s nonhomologous end-joining machinery to repair the nucleic acid, sometimes incorrectly. But researchers in Washington State provide evidence that tapping into the cell’s homologous recombination repair pathway is a much more efficient and precise way to go about it. The group published its results yesterday (September 30) in Science Translational Medicine.

“This new method is an improvement because it can be used not just to disrupt a gene, but also to insert new information into a specific site in the genome,” Annalisa VanHook, web editor of Science Signaling, said during a Science Translational Medicine podcast.

Indeed, in addition to transfecting T cells with mRNA nucleases, the researchers also delivered a repair template that coded for gene they wanted to knock-in. That gene is flanked by sequences that match the target gene, explained coauthor Guillermo Romano Ibarra of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “So we get seamless integration of our gene,” he said during the podcast.

The group demonstrated the success of their technique first using a reporter gene, and then with gene cassettes with therapeutic relevance, such as rewriting the CCR5 gene to encode a receptor that protects T cells from HIV infection. “The study offers a new approach to genetically engineering T cells to combat HIV and potentially other diseases like cancer,” according to a note Science sent to reporters. 

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Publishers’ Legal Action Advances Against Sci-Hub
  2. How Microbes May Influence Our Behavior
  3. Metabolomics Data Under Scrutiny
    Daily News Metabolomics Data Under Scrutiny

    Out of 25,000 features originally detected by metabolic profiling of E. coli, fewer than 1,000 represent unique metabolites, a study finds.

  4. Sexual Touch Promotes Early Puberty
    Daily News Sexual Touch Promotes Early Puberty

    The brains and bodies of young female rats can be accelerated into puberty by the presence of an older male or by stimulation of the genitals.

AAAS