RNA editing as a therapeutic approach for retinal gene therapy requiring long coding sequences.
Fry LE., Peddle CF., Barnard AR., McClements ME., MacLaren RE.
RNA editing aims to treat genetic disease through altering gene expression at the transcript level. Pairing site-directed RNA-targeting mechanisms with engineered deaminase enzymes allows for the programmable correction of G>A and T>C mutations in RNA. This offers a promising therapeutic approach for a range of genetic diseases. For inherited retinal degenerations caused by point mutations in large genes not amenable to single-adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy such as USH2A and ABCA4, correcting RNA offers an alternative to gene replacement. Genome editing of RNA rather than DNA may offer an improved safety profile, due to the transient and potentially reversible nature of edits made to RNA. This review considers the current site-directing RNA editing systems, and the potential to translate these to the clinic for the treatment of inherited retinal degeneration.