Adenovirus Vectors Expressing Eight Multiplex Guide RNAs of CRISPR/Cas9 Efficiently Disrupted Diverse Hepatitis B Virus Gene Derived from Heterogeneous Patient
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronically infects more than 240 million people worldwide, causing chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 could provide new therapies because it can directly disrupt HBV genomes. However, because HBV genome sequences are highly diverse, the identical target sequence of guide RNA (gRNA), 20 nucleotides in length, is not necessarily present intact in the target HBV DNA in heterogeneous patients. Consequently,
... ible genome-editing drugs would be effective only for limited numbers of patients. Here, we show that an adenovirus vector (AdV) bearing eight multiplex gRNA expression units could be constructed in one step and amplified to a level sufficient for in vivo study with lack of deletion. Using this AdV, HBV X gene integrated in HepG2 cell chromosome derived from a heterogeneous patient was cleaved at multiple sites and disrupted. Indeed, four targets out of eight could not be cleaved due to sequence mismatches, but the remaining four targets were cleaved, producing irreversible deletions. Accordingly, the diverse X gene was disrupted at more than 90% efficiency. AdV containing eight multiplex gRNA units not only offers multiple knockouts of genes, but could also solve the problems of heterogeneous targets and escape mutants in genome-editing therapy.