The evolution of gene therapy in the treatment of metabolic liver diseases

Carlos G. Moscoso, Clifford J. Steer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Monogenic metabolic disorders of hepatic origin number in the hundreds, and for many, liver transplantation remains the only cure. Liver‐targeted gene therapy is an attractive treatment modality for many of these conditions, and there have been significant advances at both the preclinical and clinical stages. Viral vectors, including retroviruses, lentiviruses, adenovirus‐based vectors, adeno‐associated viruses and simian virus 40, have differing safety, efficacy and immunogenic profiles, and several of these have been used in clinical trials with variable success. In this review, we profile viral vectors and non‐viral vectors, together with various payloads, including emerging therapies based on RNA, that are entering clinical trials. Genome editing technologies are explored, from earlier to more recent novel approaches that are more efficient, specific and safe in reaching their target sites. The various curative approaches for the multitude of monogenic hepatic metabolic disorders currently at the clinical development stage portend a favorable outlook for this class of genetic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number915
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Genome editing
  • Liver‐targeted gene therapy
  • TALENs
  • Viral vectors
  • Zinc finger nucleases


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