New effort develop oral delivery of CRISPR to gut cells

All current approaches to CRISPR delivery rely on invasive procedures, such as injections into specific organs. The most convenient way of drug administration – oral – is still far from being an efficient application. A team from UC Davis will try to tackle that problem using a modified hepatitis E virus.

The study will be conducted on mice, with the goal of editing the APC gene in gut cells. Mutations of APC are a well-known cause of familial polyposis, cancer of the colon.

The project will consist of three areas: chemical packaging of delivery, optimization of the hepatitis E virus, and engineering of the CRISPR system.

One of leading scientists, R. Holland Cheng, concludes:

Through our structure-guided design and the evolutional advantage of a water-borne agent, our viral vector can pass through the harsh environment of the stomach and deliver the loaded gene editors to targeted cells in the gut.

Source: UC Davis

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