CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology significantly accelerated herpes simplex virus research



Herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) are important pathogens and ideal for gene therapy due to its large genome size. Previous researches on HSVs were hampered because the technology to construct recombinant HSVs were based on DNA homology-dependent repair (HDR) and plaque assay, which are inefficient, laborious, and time-consuming. Fortunately, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) recently provided the possibility to precisely, efficiently, and rapidly edit genomes and indeed is successfully being used in HSVs. Importantly, CRISPR/Cas9 technology increased HSV HDR efficiency exponentially by a 10,000–1,000,000 times when making recombinant HSVs, and its combination with flow cytometric technology made HSV recombination practically automatic. These may have a significant impact on virus and gene therapy researches. This review will summarize the latest development and molecular mechanisms of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology and its recent application in HSVs.

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We thank Hubei province for funding HWX as a Chutian Scholar Distinguished Professor, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31700736 to XWW), Hubei Province Natural Science Foundation of China (2016CFB180 to XWW), and Yangtze University for fellowship to DW as a graduate student.


This study was funded by 20160527 (Hubei province of China for funding to HWX as a Chutian Scholar Distinguished Professor), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31700736 to XWW), and Hubei Province Natural Science Foundation of China (2016CFB180 to XWW).

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Correspondence to Zhao-Wu Ma or Cheng-Bin Li or Hong-Wu Xin.

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Wang, D., Wang, X., Peng, X. et al. CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology significantly accelerated herpes simplex virus research. Cancer Gene Ther 25, 93–105 (2018).

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