Authors: Jonathan M. Levy , Wei-Hsi Yeh, Nachiket Pendse, Jessie R. Davis, Erin Hennessey, Rossano Butcher, Luke W. Koblan, Jason Comander, Qin Liu and David R. Liu
The success of base editors for the study and treatment of genetic diseases depends on the ability to deliver them in vivo to the relevant cell types. Delivery via adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) is limited by AAV packaging capacity, which precludes the use of full-length base editors. Here, we report the application of dual AAVs for the delivery of split cytosine and adenine base editors that are then reconstituted by trans-splicing inteins. Optimized dual AAVs enable in vivo base editing at therapeutically relevant efficiencies and dosages in the mouse brain (up to 59% of unsorted cortical tissue), liver (38%), retina (38%), heart (20%) and skeletal muscle (9%). We also show that base editing corrects, in mouse brain tissue, a mutation that causes Niemann–Pick disease type C (neurodegenerative ataxia), slowing down neurodegeneration and increasing lifespan. The optimized delivery vectors should facilitate the efficient introduction of targeted point mutations into multiple tissues of therapeutic interest.