Targeted genome editing by engineered endonucleases allows the precise introduction of gene deletions and substitutions into the target genome. In 'Bench to Bedside', Keith Joung and his colleagues discuss how genome-editing technologies could be applied to engineer disease-associated somatic variation into human cell lines and disease models. This would allow the functional interpretation of such variants, which could then be applied to molecular diagnostics in the clinic. In 'Bedside to Bench', Angelo Lombardo and Luigi Naldini consider the potential applications of genome editing in the clinic, in which engineered endonucleases have been shown to be safe. Endonucleases could replace disease-associated genes with wild-type versions or be used to delete genes encoding receptors essential to viral host entry to prevent infection.
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The authors declare that they receive some research funding from Sangamo BioSciences to perform targeted genome editing with ZFNs and that they are inventors on filed patent applications on targeted genome editing.
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Lombardo, A., Naldini, L. Genome Editing: A Tool For Research and Therapy: Targeted genome editing hits the clinic. Nat Med 20, 1101–1103 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.3721
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