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mRNA trans-splicing dual AAV vectors for (epi)genome editing and gene therapy

Publication year 2023
Published in Nature Communications
Authors Lisa Maria Riedmayr, Klara Sonnie Hinrichsmeyer, Stefan Bernhard Thalhammer, David Manuel Mittas, Nina Karguth, Dina Yehia Otify, Sybille Böhm, Valentin Johannes Weber, Michael David Bartoschek, Victoria Splith, Manuela Brümmer, Raphael Ferreira, Nanda Boon, Gabriele Maria Wögenstein, Christian Grimm, Jan Wijnholds, Verena Mehlfeld, Stylianos Michalakis, Stefanie Fenske, Martin Biel, Elvir Becirovic

Large genes including several CRISPR-Cas modules like gene activators (CRISPRa) require dual adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for an efficient in vivo delivery and expression. Current dual AAV vector approaches have important limitations, e.g., low reconstitution efficiency, production of alien proteins, or low flexibility in split site selection. Here, we present a dual AAV vector technology based on reconstitution via mRNA trans-splicing (REVeRT). REVeRT is flexible in split site selection and can efficiently reconstitute different split genes in numerous in vitro models, in human organoids, and in vivo. Furthermore, REVeRT can functionally reconstitute a CRISPRa module targeting genes in various mouse tissues and organs in single or multiplexed approaches upon different routes of administration. Finally, REVeRT enabled the reconstitution of full-length ABCA4 after intravitreal injection in a mouse model of Stargardt disease. Due to its flexibility and efficiency REVeRT harbors great potential for basic research and clinical applications.

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