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Directed evolution of novel adeno-associated viruses for therapeutic gene delivery

Abstract

Gene therapy vectors based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) are currently in clinical trials for numerous disease targets, such as muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, Parkinson's disease, Leber's congenital amaurosis and macular degeneration. Despite its considerable promise and emerging clinical success, several challenges impede the broader implementation of AAV gene therapy, including the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies in the human population, low transduction of a number of therapeutically relevant cell and tissue types, an inability to overcome physical and cellular barriers in vivo and a relatively limited carrying capacity. These challenges arise as the demands we place on AAV vectors are often different from or even at odds with the properties nature bestowed on their parent viruses. Viral-directed evolution—the iterative generation of large, diverse libraries of viral mutants and selection for variants with specific properties of interest—offers an approach to address these problems. Here we outline progress in creating novel classes of AAV variant libraries and highlight the successful isolation of variants with novel and advantageous in vitro and in vivo gene delivery properties.

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Bartel, M., Weinstein, J. & Schaffer, D. Directed evolution of novel adeno-associated viruses for therapeutic gene delivery. Gene Ther 19, 694–700 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/gt.2012.20

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/gt.2012.20

Keywords

  • directed evolution
  • adeno-associated virus
  • viral vector
  • gene delivery
  • gene targeting

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