Recent advance on genome editing for therapy of β-hemoglobinopathies

Yi Chuan. 2018 Feb 20;40(2):95-103. doi: 10.16288/j.yczz.17-215.


β-hemoglobinopathies are one of six groups of common illnesses affecting human health. Although the genetic mechanisms have been elucidated for several decades, curable treatment options, other than allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, are still lacking. In recent years, rapid development in genome editing technologies and their clinical applications have opened up new directions for treatment of β-hemoglobinopathies. Genome editing technologies, as applied in autologous CD34 + hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, represents a promising remedial means for the β-globin disorders. Hemoglobin gene mutations could be corrected with homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair pathway to repair the genetic defects, while the nonhomologous end-joining pathway may be used to silence the key repressor of fetal globin expression and reactivate fetal hemoglobin expression, thereby alleviating the clinical symptoms of β-hemoglobinopathies in patients. This review summarizes the recent advances on genome editing of β-hemoglobinopathies from the bench design to the establishment of clinical translational platforms, thereby providing critical insights and references on the application of genome editing technologies for the development of therapeutic strategies for β-hemoglobinopathies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Fetal Hemoglobin / genetics
  • Gene Editing / methods*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Hemoglobinopathies / genetics*
  • Hemoglobinopathies / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods
  • beta-Globins / genetics


  • beta-Globins
  • Fetal Hemoglobin