Cytosine and adenine base editing of the brain, liver, retina, heart and skeletal muscle of mice via adeno-associated viruses
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CitationLevy, Jonathan, Wei Hsi Yeh, Nachiket Pendse, Jessie Davis, Erin Hennessey, Rossano Butcher, Koblan Luke et al. "Cytosine and adenine base editing of the brain, liver, retina, heart and skeletal muscle of mice via adeno-associated viruses." Nat Biomed Eng 4, no. 1 (2020): 97-110. DOI: 10.1038/s41551-019-0501-5
AbstractBase editors are widely used engineered proteins that introduce targeted point mutations into DNA without creating double-stranded DNA breaks. The application of base editors to study and treat genetic diseases is dependent on their in vivo delivery into relevant cell types. Delivery by adeno-associated virus (AAV), a clinically validated delivery method, poses special challenges because the size of base editors exceeds the AAV packaging limit. Here we describe the development and application of in vivo delivery methods for both cytosine base editors (CBEs) and adenine base editors (ABEs). Dual AAVs each provide one half of the editor and trans-splicing inteins reconstitute full base editor activity, circumventing the AAV packaging limit. We optimized each AAV component to greatly improve editing efficiency. The resulting AAVs enable in vivo base editing for the first time in mouse brain, retina, and heart, as well as the most efficient base editing to date in muscle and liver, with therapeutically relevant efficiencies at viral dosages known to be tolerated in humans. A single intravenous injection of split CBE in PHP.eB AAV resulted in editing of up to 59% of unsorted mouse cortical tissue. Intravenous injection of split CBE or ABE in AAV9 mediated up to 38%, 20%, and 9% base editing in unsorted mouse liver, heart, and skeletal muscle, respectively. Subretinal and intracerebroventricular injections of split CBE and ABE in Anc80, PHP.B/PHP.eB, and AAV9 viruses mediated mouse retina and brain editing in up to 38% and 50% of unsorted cells, respectively. We applied this system to directly correct in mouse brain tissue a mutation that causes the neurodegenerative ataxia Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC), slowing neurodegeneration and increasing lifespan consistent with expectations based on mosaic NPC mice. These findings establish a broadly useful AAV platform for the efficient introduction of targeted point mutations into multiple tissues of therapeutic interest for which in vivo base editing has not been previously reported.
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