Human gene therapy

Gene Therapy of Adult Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses with CRISPR/Cas9 in Zebrafish.

PMID 28478735


Adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (ANCL), one of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCLs), is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder with progressive neuronal dysfunction. Recently, mutations in the DNAJC5 gene that encodes cysteine-string protein alpha (CSPα) have been reported to be associated with familial autosomal-dominant ANCL (AD-ANCL). This study constructed an ANCL transgenic zebrafish model expressing the human mutant DNAJC5 (mDNAJC5) gene under the control of a zebrafish neuron-specific promoter. To investigate whether gene therapy based on genome-editing technology could treat ANCL, a panel of TALEN and Cas9 nucleases was designed to disrupt the mDNAJC5 gene in this transgenic animal model. By screening these nucleases, it was found that one nuclease that targeted the 5' coding region efficiently alleviated mDNAJC5 protein aggregates in the affected neurons. Therefore, this study provides a gene therapy strategy via the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to treat neural genetic diseases.