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Current Gene Therapy

Editor-in-Chief

ISSN (Print): 1566-5232
ISSN (Online): 1875-5631

Review Article (Mini-Review)

Viral Vector Delivery of DREADDs for CNS Therapy

Author(s): Ceri A. Pickering and Nicholas D. Mazarakis*

Volume 21 , Issue 3 , 2021

Published on: 11 February, 2021

Page: [191 - 206] Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/1566523221666210211102435

Price: $65

Abstract

Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) are genetically modified G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), that can be activated by a synthetic ligand which is otherwise inert at endogenous receptors. DREADDs can be expressed in cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and subsequently offer the opportunity for remote and reversible silencing or activation of the target cells when the synthetic ligand is systemically administered. In neuroscience, DREADDs have thus far shown to be useful tools for several areas of research and offer considerable potential for the development of gene therapy strategies for neurological disorders. However, in order to design a DREADD-based gene therapy, it is necessary to first evaluate the viral vector delivery methods utilised in the literature to deliver these chemogenetic tools. This review evaluates each of the prominent strategies currently utilised for DREADD delivery, discussing their respective advantages and limitations. We focus on adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based and lentivirus-based systems, and the manipulation of these through cell-type specific promoters and pseudotyping. Furthermore, we address how virally mediated DREADD delivery could be improved in order to make it a viable gene therapy strategy and thus expand its translational potential.

Keywords: DREADDs, chemogenetics, AAV, lentivirus, gene therapy, CNS, viral vectors.

Graphical Abstract

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