AAV-mediated gene therapy is a promising approach for treating genetic hearing loss. Replacement or editing of the Tmc1 gene, encoding hair cell mechanosensory ion channels, is effective for hearing restoration in mice with some limitations. Efficient rescue of outer hair cell function and lack of hearing recovery with later-stage treatment remain issues to be solved. Exogenous genes delivered with the adeno-associated virus (AAV)9-PHP.B capsid via the utricle transduce both inner and outer hair cells of the mouse cochlea with high efficacy. Here, we demonstrate that AAV9-PHP.B gene therapy can promote hair cell survival and successfully rescues hearing in three distinct mouse models of hearing loss. Tmc1 replacement with AAV9-PHP.B in a Tmc1 knockout mouse rescues hearing and promotes hair cell survival with equal efficacy in inner and outer hair cells. The same treatment in a recessive Tmc1 hearing-loss model, Baringo, partially recovers hearing even with later-stage treatment. Finally, dual delivery of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9) and guide RNA (gRNA) in separate AAV9-PHP.B vectors selectively disrupts a dominant Tmc1 allele and preserves hearing in Beethoven mice, a model of dominant, progressive hearing loss. Tmc1-targeted gene therapies using single or dual AAV9-PHP.B vectors offer potent and versatile approaches for treating dominant and recessive deafness.
Keywords: TMC1; auditory; gene therapy; genetic deafness; hair cell; hearing; hearing loss; inner ear; mechanotransduction; sensory transduction.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.