The therapeutic potential of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Rubin, David Sweeney
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The CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system gives researchers the ability to manipulate and edit DNA with unprecedented ease and precision. It was discovered in bacteria as part of their adaptive immune system, but has been reengineered to target any double stranded DNA. This burgeoning molecular tool has created great excitement as scientists are rapidly adopting it to study fields including human gene therapy, disease modeling, agriculture, gene drive in mosquitos, and many others. This paper will explore the potential impact of CRISPR-Cas9 in human therapeutics. Specifically, the potential of CRISPR-Cas9 to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy will be examined. In several ways, this debilitating degenerative disease is an ideal candidate for gene-editing with CRISPR-Cas9. Recent progress in the lab has demonstrated the gene editing system’s ability to rescue dystrophin protein levels in vivo. Although CRISPR-Cas9 holds great promise for previously incurable diseases, there are still many limitations that must be overcome before the gene editing system can be used in patients. This paper will discuss these barriers as well as recent advancements to overcome them.