Researchers from various Japanese institutions developed NICER, which is a novel method that offers a precise strategy for gene correction. This technique can be used as a substitute for CRISPR gene editing.
CRISPR-Cas9 has many applications, especially in the treatment of genetic diseases. However, this technique can cause unintended genomic alterations and integration of exogenous DNA, which introduces safety concerns for its clinical applications.
To avoid those issues, researchers from Osaka University, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Nagoya University, and Genomedia Inc. produced the NICER method. This technique uses Cas9 nickase to induce multiple nicks, and a homologous chromosome serves as an endogenous repair template.
Based on a genomic analysis, the NICER method rarely causes unintended genomic alterations. It also restores the expression of pathogen-causing genes in cells obtained from genetic diseases with heterozygous mutations.