CRISPR applications in ophthalmologic genome surgery

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Purpose of review

The present review seeks to summarize and discuss the application of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated systems (Cas) for genome editing, also called genome surgery, in the field of ophthalmology.

Recent findings

Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account the variability of an individual's genetic sequence. Various groups have used CRISPR-Cas genome editing to make significant progress in mammalian preclinical models of eye disease, the basic science of eye development in zebrafish, the in vivo modification of ocular tissue, and the correction of stem cells with therapeutic applications. In addition, investigators have creatively used the targeted mutagenic potential of CRISPR-Cas systems to target pathogenic alleles in vitro.


Over the past year, CRISPR-Cas genome editing has been used to correct pathogenic mutations in vivo and in transplantable stem cells. Although off-target mutagenesis remains a concern, improvement in CRISPR-Cas technology and careful screening for undesired mutations will likely lead to clinical eye therapeutics employing CRISPR-Cas systems in the near future.

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