Scientific Advances: CRISPR-mediated gene repression relieves chronic pain

March 10, 2021.

Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that is currently treated with addictive opioids. Moreno et al. published a study in Science Translational Medicine describing the application of CRISPR dead-Cas9 and zinc fingers proteins to relieve pain. Packaged within adeno-associated viral (AAV) particles, the gene editing tools were injected into the spinal intrathecal space of mice in order to locally suppress the expression of the NaV1.7 gene. A single AAV injection with dCas9 fused to the Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) gene repressor was documented to provide specific and long-lasting pain relief (up to 44 weeks), without inducing loss of other sensations or apparent side effects. The authors are confident that the observed pain relief by NaV1.7 repression presents an exciting novel therapeutic opportunity for the management of chronic pain in patients.

For more information, see:
Moreno, A.M., et al. (2021) Long-lasting analgesia via targeted in situ repression of NaV1.7 in mice. Science Translational Medicine 13: eaay9056. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay9056
Servick, K. (2021) Gene-silencing injection reverses pain in mice. Science DOI:10.1126/science.abi4517
Remmel, A. (2021) CRISPR-based gene therapy dampens pain in mice. Nature

Keywords: CRISPR, dCas9, KRAB gene repression, chronic pain

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