GW researchers successfully used CRISPR/Cas9 to limit the impact of schistosomiasis and liver fluke infection, affecting more than a quarter of a billion people in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America
For the first time, researchers at the George Washington University (GW), together with colleagues at institutes in Thailand, Australia, the U.K. and the Netherlands, and more, have successfully used the gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 to limit the impact of parasitic worms responsible for schistosomiasis and for liver fluke infection, which can cause a diverse spectrum of human disease including bile duct cancer. Their findings are found in two papers published today in the journal eLife.
“The genes we ‘knocked out’ using CRISPR/Cas9 resulted in markedly diminished symptoms of infection in our animal models,” said Paul Brindley, PhD, professor of microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and lead author. “Our research also showed that this revolutionary new biomedical procedure — CRISPR/Cas9 — can be adapted to study helminth parasites, which are a major public health problem in tropical climates.”
CRISPR/Cas9 is a new technology that allows researchers to precisely target and deactivate the genetic information needed to produce a particular protein. While the tool has been used in other species before, it was unknown if it could be applied to Schistosoma mansoni and Opisthorchis viverrini, the parasites responsible for schistosomiasis and liver fluke infection.
Schistosomiasis can cause serious health problems, including damage to the liver and kidneys, infertility and bladder cancer. The freshwater worms S. mansoni enter the human body by burrowing into the skin; once in the bloodstream, they move to various organs where they rapidly start to reproduce. Their eggs release several molecules, including a protein known as omega-1 ribonuclease, which can damage the surrounding tissues. Brindley and his research team “knocked out” this protein using CRISPR/Cas9 and found that it greatly reduced the impact of the disease.
Liver fluke infection can cause a type of liver cancer called bile duct cancer, triggered by the presence of the worm O. viverrini. This parasite is transmitted through traditional Southeast Asian cuisines using uncooked or undercooked fish. Once inside the body, the parasite settles in the human liver and secretes a protein known as granulin that may encourage liver cells to multiply, raising the risk for cancer. Brindley and his research team used CRISPR/Cas9 to deactivate the gene that codes for granulin and create parasites that can only produce very little of the protein, leading to markedly reduced symptoms of liver fluke infection.
“These neglected tropical diseases affect more than a quarter of a billion people primarily living in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America,” said Brindley. “CRISPR/Cas9 is a tool that may be used to limit the impact of these infections. As we work to better understand how these parasites invade and damage our bodies through this new technology, we will find new ideas for treatment and disease control.”
The Latest on: CRISPR/Cas9
via Google News
The Latest on: CRISPR/Cas9
- Super-porous material transports cancer-killing CRISPR inside cellson November 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm
The CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool has shown promise in treating a wide range of diseases, but getting it into cells in the first place can be challenging. Now, researchers in Australia have packaged ...
- This Company's New Approach Could Slash Gilead's Profit From HIV Drugson November 22, 2020 at 3:45 am
A small private biotech has data showing that its use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing could potentially eliminate the need for patients -- and those at risk -- to take HIV drugs for the rest of their ...
- New findings speed progress towards affordable gene therapyon November 20, 2020 at 9:41 am
In a promising advance for affordable, personalized medicine, researchers have used metal-organic frameworks to successfully deliver the genetic snipping tool CRISPR/Cas9 into human cancer cells.
- CRISPR/Cas9 system is highly effective in treating metastatic cancerson November 20, 2020 at 8:12 am
Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have demonstrated that the CRISPR/Cas9 system is very effective in treating metastatic cancers, a significant step on the way to finding a cure for cancer.
- Revolutionary CRISPR-based genome editing system treatment destroys cancer cellson November 19, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Researchers have demonstrated that the CRISPR/Cas9 system is very effective in treating metastatic cancers, a significant step on the way to finding a cure for cancer. The researchers developed a ...
- CRISPR Technique Effectively Destroys Metastatic Cancer Cells in Living Animalon November 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Cas9 technology for cancer therapeutics has been hampered by low editing efficiency in tumors and potential toxicity of existing delivery systems. Scientists at Tel Aviv University describe a safe and ...
- CRISPR-Cas9: Applying gene editing in agricultureon November 15, 2020 at 3:45 pm
Gene editing can have a major impact on global agriculture through rapid development of crop varieties with diverse desirable traits ...
- Intellia Therapeutics Receives Grant to Develop Curative CRISPR/Cas9 In Vivo Sickle Cell Disease Treatmentson November 11, 2020 at 4:40 am
“We are excited to receive funding from the Gates Foundation to take the first steps toward development of a potential in vivo non-viral CRISPR/Cas9-based cure for SCD. Genome editing offers ...
- Intellia Therapeutics Receives Grant to Develop Curative CRISPR/Cas9 In Vivo Sickle Cell ...on November 11, 2020 at 4:32 am
(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTLA), announced that it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to research in vivo sickle cell disease (SCD) treatments ...
- Intellia Therapeutics Receives Grant to Develop Curative CRISPR/Cas9 In Vivo Sickle Cell Disease Treatmentson November 10, 2020 at 11:30 pm
Intellia's in vivo CRISPR/Cas9 delivery approach has the potential to develop HSC-based genome editing therapies that are more practical solutions to treat blood disorders, including SCD.
via Bing News