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Published March 2022 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Potential of CRISPR-Guided Therapies in the Dermatology Clinic


Over the past decade, CRISPR has rapidly made its way from the bench to the bedside, providing a newfound therapeutic avenue to not only treat genetic diseases but also permanently cure them. Although there are several clinical trials in early stages, there are so far no CRISPR-based clinical trials for cutaneous disease. In this review, we describe multiple cutaneous diseases that represent ideal targets for CRISPR-based therapeutics owing to known single gene‒causing mutations. We also explore the potential of CRISPR nucleases to treat inflammatory disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, which are not classically categorized as genodermatoses. We describe the therapeutic solutions for these diseases that are guided by various CRISPR-associated (Cas) effector proteins, for example, using Cas9 to permanently edit the DNA of somatic cells, Cas3 to target foreign DNA to combat viral/bacterial skin infections, and Cas13 to edit mutated RNA transcripts in diseases where permanent DNA editing is untenable. Furthermore, we discuss various drug delivery modalities for CRISPR therapeutics, including transdermal patches and microneedles, which are uniquely suited for dermatological diseases. In summary, we highlight the potential of CRISPR-based therapeutics to revolutionize the treatment of cutaneous disease with a goal of being accessible to the practicing dermatologist.

Additional Information

© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier, Inc. on behalf of the Society for Investigative Dermatology. Under a Creative Commons license - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Received 10 November 2021, Revised 3 January 2022, Accepted 10 January 2022, Available online 25 January 2022, Version of Record 3 March 2022. PB is supported by the University of California, Los Angeles-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program, National Institutes of Health F30CA247447, a Chen Graduate Innovator Grant, and the Josephine de Kármán Fellowship Trust. The figures were created using BioRender. Author Contributions. Conceptualization: PB, LG; Writing - Original Draft Preparation: PB; Writing - Review and Editing: PB, LG. Conflict of Interest. LG received gift/grant support from Advancing Innovation in Dermatology and LEO Pharma for the Virtual Magic Wand program. Magic Wand is a service mark of The General Hospital Corporation, the owner of Massachusetts General Hospital. The remaining author states no conflict of interest.

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August 20, 2023
October 23, 2023