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An evolved AAV variant enables efficient geneticengineering of murine T cells

Updated: Mar 25

Precise targeting of large transgenes to T cells using homology-directed repair has been transformative for adoptive cell therapies and T cell biology. Delivery of DNA templates via adeno-associated virus (AAV) has greatly improved knockin efficiencies, but the tropism of current AAV serotypes restricts their use to human T cells employed in immunodeficient mouse models. To enable targeted knockins in murine T cells, we evolved Ark313, a synthetic AAV that exhibits high transduction efficiency in murine T cells. We performed a genome-wide knockout screen and identified QA2 as an essential factor for Ark313 infection. We demonstrate that Ark313 can be used for nucleofection-free DNA delivery, CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockouts, and targeted integration of large transgenes. Ark313 enables preclinical modeling of Trac-targeted CAR-T and transgenic TCR-T cells in immunocompetent models. Efficient gene targeting in murine T cells holds great potential for improved cell therapies and opens avenues in experimental T cell immunology.

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