New Approaches to Moderate CRISPR-Cas9 Activity: Addressing Issues of Cellular Uptake and Endosomal Escape

Maja van Hees, Sofie Slott, Anders Højgaard Hansen, Heon Seok Kim, Hanlee P Ji, Kira Astakhova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

195 Downloads (Pure)


CRISPR-Cas9 is rapidly entering molecular biology and biomedicine as a promising gene-editing tool. A unique feature of CRISPR-Cas9 is a single guide RNA directing a Cas9 nuclease towards its genomic target. Herein, we highlight new approaches for improving cellular uptake and endosomal escape of CRISPR-Cas9. As opposed to other recently published works, this review is focused on non-viral carriers as a means to facilitate the cellular uptake of CRISPR-Cas9 through endocytosis. The majority of non-viral carriers, such as gold nanoparticles, polymer nanoparticles, lipid nanoparticles and nanoscale zeolitic imidazole frameworks, are developed with a focus towards optimizing the endosomal escape of CRISPR-Cas9 by taking advantage of the acidic environment in the late endosomes. Among the most broadly used methods for in vitro and ex vivo ribonucleotide protein transfection are electroporation and microinjection. Thus, other delivery formats are warranted for in vivo delivery of CRISPR-Cas9. Herein, we specifically revise the use of peptide and nanoparticle-based systems as platforms for CRISPR-Cas9 delivery in vivo. Finally, we highlight future perspectives of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool and the prospects of using non-viral vectors to improve its bioavailability and therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)32-46
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'New Approaches to Moderate CRISPR-Cas9 Activity: Addressing Issues of Cellular Uptake and Endosomal Escape'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this