Regulatory T-cell (Treg) therapy has shown promise in treating autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection, or graft-versus-host disease in early clinical trials. These trials have demonstrated that cell therapy using polyclonal Tregs is feasible and safe, however, the field has been limited by the lack of polyclonal cell specificity and consequent large cell numbers required, and the difficulty in generating autologous products for some patients. Thus, the field is moving toward 'next generation' Treg cell therapies that include genetic modification strategies to engineer specificity and/or modify function, as well as methods to generate Tregs in vitro. In this review, we describe how genetic modification of Tregs using viral transduction or gene editing may be incorporated into Treg manufacturing protocols. We also describe how Tregs may be generated via FOXP3 gene editing or overexpression, or by differentiation from pluripotent stem cells. The application of these various types of engineered Tregs is discussed.
Keywords: CRISPR; biomanufacturing; cell therapy; engineering; regulatory T cells.
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