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Brain-wide Cas9-mediated cleavage of a gene causing familial Alzheimer’s disease alleviates amyloid-related pathologies in mice

Paper Title:

Brain-wide Cas9-mediated cleavage of a gene causing familial Alzheimer’s disease alleviates amyloid-related pathologies in mice

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Abstract

The pathology of familial Alzheimer’s disease, which is caused by dominant mutations in the gene that encodes amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP) and in those that encode presenilin 1 and presenilin 2, is characterized by extracellular amyloid plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles in multiple brain regions. Here we show that the brain-wide selective disruption of a mutated APP allele in transgenic mouse models carrying the human APP Swedish mutation alleviates amyloid-beta-associated pathologies for at least six months after a single intrahippocampal administration of an adeno-associated virus that encodes both Cas9 and a single-guide RNA that targets the mutation. We also show that the deposition of amyloid-beta, as well as microgliosis, neurite dystrophy and the impairment of cognitive performance, can all be ameliorated when the CRISPR–Cas9 construct is delivered intravenously via a modified adeno-associated virus that can cross the blood–brain barrier. Brain-wide disease-modifying genome editing could represent a viable strategy for the treatment of familial Alzheimer’s disease and other monogenic diseases that affect multiple brain regions.

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