Somatic Gene Editing of GUCY2D by AAV-CRISPR/Cas9 Alters Retinal Structure and Function in Mouse and Macaque

Academic Article


  • Mutations in GUCY2D, the gene encoding retinal guanylate cyclase-1 (retGC1), are the leading cause of autosomal dominant cone-rod dystrophy (CORD6). Significant progress toward clinical application of gene replacement therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) due to recessive mutations in GUCY2D (LCA1) has been made, but a different approach is needed to treat CORD6 where gain of function mutations cause dysfunction and dystrophy. The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system efficiently disrupts genes at desired loci, enabling complete gene knockout or homology directed repair. Here, adeno-associated virus (AAV)-delivered CRISPR/Cas9 was used specifically to edit/disrupt this gene's early coding sequence in mouse and macaque photoreceptors in vivo, thereby knocking out retGC1 expression and demonstrably altering retinal function and structure. Neither preexisting nor induced Cas9-specific T-cell responses resulted in ocular inflammation in macaques, nor did it limit GUCY2D editing. The results show, for the first time, the ability to perform somatic gene editing in primates using AAV-CRISPR/Cas9 and demonstrate the viability this approach for treating inherited retinal diseases in general and CORD6 in particular.
  • Published In

  • Human Gene Therapy  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McCullough KT; Boye SL; Fajardo D; Calabro K; Peterson JJ; Strang CE; Chakraborty D; Gloskowski S; Haskett S; Samuelsson S
  • Start Page

  • 571
  • End Page

  • 589
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 5