Application of Genome Editing Techniques in Immunology

Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2018 Aug;66(4):289-298. doi: 10.1007/s00005-018-0504-z. Epub 2018 Jan 17.


The idea of using the effector immune cells to specifically fight cancer has recently evolved into an exciting concept of adoptive cell therapies. Indeed, genetically engineered T cells expressing on their surface recombinant, cancer-targeted receptors have been shown to induce promising response in oncological patients. However, in addition to exogenous expression of such receptors, there is also a need for disruption of certain genes in the immune cells to achieve more potent disease-targeted actions, to produce universal chimeric antigen receptor-based therapies or to study the signaling pathways in detail. In this review, we present novel genetic engineering methods, mainly TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 systems, that can be used for such purposes. These unique techniques may contribute to creating more successful immune therapies against cancer or prospectively other diseases as well.

Keywords: Adoptive therapy; CRISPR/Cas9; Cancer; Genome editing; Immunotherapy; TALEN; Viral diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Gene Editing / methods*
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / physiology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / transplantation
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell